Parties to Divorce Cases
PARTIES TO DIVORCE ACTIONS – PLAINTIFF AND DEFENDANT
The parties to a divorce action are called a “plaintiff” and a “defendant”. The plaintiff is the spouse that commences the action for divorce and the defendant is the respondent spouse. For the court to have the ability to enter any orders that may be at issue in the case (i.e. terminating the marriage by divorce, dividing assets and debts, making child custody orders and child support orders, adjudicating spousal support, etc.) there must be subject matter jurisdiction, which means that the parties must be married to each other.
Since the definition of marriage includes matrimony between two people during their lives, if either party dies there can be no divorce case. (If a party dies during the pendency of a divorce case, the case is abated and is dismissed).
A divorce case must be initiated by the plaintiff who is the “real party in interest”, which means that person is the husband or wife in a marriage relationship. It is a crime to impersonate a party in a divorce action.
For more information about divorce, call or email our office today. We offer a free, no-cost consultation in a private setting.
Our firm serves Boston as well as all courts in Bristol County, including the New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton courthouses. We also serve all courts in Plymouth County including the Family and Probate Courthouses in Plymouth and Brockton.