In recent years, children have increasingly been called upon to be witnesses in their parents’ divorce proceedings. In some contested fault-based divorces, children have supplied testimony as to cruelty or adultery by one of the spouses. In other instances, children have been a part of custody matters, including offering testimony as to being poorly supervised by one of their parents and as to any neglectful conditions in the family home.
Under certain circumstances, the non-filing party may assert defenses that are not unique to annulment actions. As with any lawsuit, a defendant may raise the defenses of lack of jurisdiction, improper venue, inappropriate remedy, or lack of notice.
In a divorce, temporary orders for property protection are designed to prevent irreparable losses from dissipation, concealment, or conveyance to third parties. Such orders include orders directing one spouse not to dispose of marital property, encumber marital property, or interfere with property in the other spouse’s possession. Courts also may issue temporary orders to prevent third parties from degrading or dissipating marital property that is in the third parties’ possession or control. The orders also may take an affirmative tone by ordering a spouse to maintain insurance and utility service and continue other routine property-preserving activities. Temporary property protection orders often are necessary whenever invaluable assets are involved. It is common for temporary orders to grant one spouse the right to use an item, and to provide compensating support to the other spouse until the assets are divided and distributed.
A premarital agreement, also known as a prenuptial or ante-nuptial agreement, is an agreement made between the parties in anticipation of their marriage. Such agreements can cover issues such as property division upon divorce, as well as child custody, child support, and alimony. Although premarital agreements have been increasingly embraced for their ability to resolve complex property and support issues without resort to trial, the lack of uniform language included in such agreements has been noted as potentially problematic.
“Vacatur” is an order of a court which sets aside or annuls a proceeding. When a judgment of divorce is vacated, the marital rights and status of the parties are restored, and the parties are placed in the position in which they were before the divorce.