Glossary

Knowing and understanding key legal terms empowers you. The following is a glossary of key legal terms pertaining to the field of Immigration Law, Family Law and Real Estate Law.

Immigration Law

Affidavit of Support

An affidavit of support is a legally enforceable contract, and the sponsor’s responsibility usually lasts until the family member or other individual either becomes a U.S. citizen, or is credited with 40 quarters of work (usually 10 years).

Acreddited Representative

These are people who are connected to BIA-recognized organizations. These representatives can charge or accept only very small fees for their services. For a list of these BIA-accredited representatives, visit justice.gov/eoir/recognition-accreditationroster-reports.

Adjustment of Status

This is the process that you can use to apply for lawful permanent resident status (also known as applying for a Green Card) when you are present in the United States. This means that you may get a Green Card without having to return to your home country to complete visa processing.

Admission Number or I-94 Number

An 11-digit number found on Form I-94 or Form I-94A Arrival-Departure Record.

Family Law

Dependent Children

Dependent Child(ren) - child(ren) who depend on their parent(s) for support either because they 
are under the age of 18, they have a mental or physical disability that prevents them from 
supporting themselves, or they are in high school while between the ages of 18 and 19.

Guardian ad litem

Guardian ad Litem - a neutral person who may be appointed by the court to evaluate or 
investigate your child’s situation, and file a report with the court about what is in the best 
interests of your child(ren). Guardians do not “work for” either party. The guardian may 
interview the parties, visit their homes, visit the child(ren)’s school(s) and speak with teachers, or 
use other resources to make their recommendation.

Alimony

The payment one spouse makes to another during or after the divorce. This payment is often used to support the spouse with less earning power, especially if the receiving spouse is unable to work because he or she takes care of their child. Alimony is not always awarded in a divorce, and its duration varies.

Real Estate Law

Bill of Sale

A written instrument given to pass title of personal property from vendor to vendee.

Abstract of Title

A summary of al1 of the recorded instruments and proceedings which affect the title to property, arranged in the order in which they were recorded.

Acquisition

An act or process by which a person procures property.

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