The Titles Of Various People Involved In A Divorce

Any couple that is starting the divorce process is likely well aware of all of the people that need to get involved. Here are some of the terms used for those people who will be frequently referred to during the divorce process. 


The person that is the petitioner in the divorce is essentially the person that filed the paperwork, often known as the petition or the complaint. They are treated like the plaintiff in a court case in a way and are the ones who make their statement first regarding why the divorce is happening. There are some benefits of being the petitioner, such as being able to pick which court the divorce will take place in. This can be advantageous for couples who have separated and are living in two different areas since you'll want to keep the court proceedings close to you as the petitioner. 


The respondent is going to be the person responding to the divorce petition, who is the other spouse that has been served the paperwork. They are treated like a defendant in this case since they are responding to the reason for the divorce that was stated by the petitioner. 

Opposing Counsel

You and your spouse are likely going to have your own lawyer to help fight on your behalf during the divorce process. Be aware that your spouse's lawyer is often referred to as the opposing counsel, or OC, and it is used to reference everyone on the legal team that is advising them throughout the divorce. 

Attorney Ad-Litem

If the court feels that a child needs an advocate during a divorce, they will be provided with an attorney ad-litem. If the court does not request an attorney ad-litem, then the parents of the child can make the request as well. The attorney ad-litem is responsible for helping make the child's wishes known to the court during the divorce process and making sure that the child's best interests are kept in mind.

Amicus Attorney

An amicus attorney acts as a friend of the court, and they are appointed to provide legal services necessary as part of the divorce. For example, they attend court hearings, make home visits, and perform interviews. The amicus attorney is typically brought in when children are involved to ensure the help is provided to make decisions in the child's best interests as well. 

Reach out to your divorce attorney if you want to understand the role of someone that is involved in your divorce case.