Family Law Glossary of Legal Terms in Nevada

Affidavit of Resident Witness: An Affidavit of Resident Witness is a sworn statement from a person that will testify that he/she knows the plaintiff or defendant to be a resident of the state in which the case is being filed.

Answer: The Answer is the Defendant’s response to a Complaint in which the Defendant either admits or denies each of the allegations.

Complaint: The Complaint sets forth the allegations against the Defendant and requests to the Court.

COPE Certificate: The COPE Certificate is required in every divorce and/or custody case. Each party must complete a Co-Parenting Class and a certificate of completion must be filed with the court.

Co-Guardian: The Co-Guardian is one of two persons who by order of a Court is appointed as the caretaker of another person and/or the estate of a person.

Co-Respondent: The Co-Respondent is another person that is required to respond in the same case.

Counterclaim: The Counterclaim is a document filed when the Defendant seeks judgment against the Plaintiff in a court case that has already been filed.

Decree of Divorce: A Decree of Divorce is the final order of the Court in a divorce case and sets forth all the Court’s orders either by decision of the Court or by agreement of the parties.

Default Judgment: The Default Judgment may be submitted to the Court when the Defendant/Respondent did not respond to the Complaint/Petition.

Defendant: The Defendant is the person who responds or defends the law suit against the Plaintiff.

Ex Parte Application: This document provides the extreme details to the Court and requests that the Court make a decision outside of the ordinary hearing and without the other party/attorney being present.

Financial Disclosure Form (FDF): The Financial Disclosure Form is required to be filed if the parties are requesting the Court make any financial decisions such as child support, spousal support, attorney’s fees, division of property or debts. This document is a detailed description of a party’s finances.

Guardian: The Guardian is a person who by order of a Court is appointed as the guardian or caretaker of another person and/or the estate of a person.

Guardian Ad Litem: A Guardian Ad Litem is a person that represents the Ward in a Court because he/she does not understand what is going on in a case and needs someone to represent to the Court the Ward’s needs or wishes.

Joint Petition: The Joint Petition is filed with both parties signature and when both parties agree on the terms of the settlement of the case without going to court.

Minute Order: A Minute Order details who was in Court, the court case and number, and what happened in court. This document, if deemed by the Court, can be used as an Order, instead of waiting for a final Order to be signed and filed by the Court.

Motion: The Motion is a document filed requesting specific actions of the Court. This document gives legal analysis and case law in support of what the party would like the court to know and order.

Notice of Entry of Order: The Notice of Entry of Order is required when any Order of any kind is filed and provides notice and a copy of the Order.

Order: An Order is a document detailing all decisions or orders of the Judge.

Order Shortening Time (OST): An Order Shortening Time is used in an effort to get an immediate court date.

Order Shortening Time Application: The Order Shortening Time Application must be completed and filed with the OST and must detail the specific circumstances that require an expedited hearing date.

Petition: The Petition, like the Complaint, sets forth the allegations against any Respondents.

Petitioner: The Petitioner like the Plaintiff files a Petition in court.

Plaintiff: The Plaintiff is the person who files the law suit.

Respondent: The Respondent is like the Defendant and responds to the allegations set forth in the Petition filed by the Petitioner.

Response: The Response like the Answer responds to the allegations filed in the Petition.

Stipulation and Order: A Stipulation and Order is an agreement between the parties that occurs outside of court and is signed by the Judge to become a binding Order.

Subpoena: A Subpoena is served on a party, business, individual, etc. to obtain documents needed for a case or to request a person to appear and testify in Court.

Summons: The Summons tells you that you must respond to the document filed and served with the Summons within a certain time frame.

Temporary Protective Order (TPO): A Temporary Protective is obtained when one party is in need of protection from the other party. The TPO will mandate that a party have no contact with the party filing the document.

Temporary Protective Order Application: A Temporary Protective Order Application must be complete and filed with the TPO.

Termination of Parental Rights: This documents is requesting to sever the bonds and natural ties of a parent to a child. This is similar to the death penalty as it is final.