A List of Legal Terminology Everyone Should Know

In modern society legal terminology is encountered in everyday life. Whether purchasing a home, renting an apartment, buying a car or obtaining a credit card or installment loan you will encounter legal terms. The aforementioned actions are forms of contracts. The courts hear arguments daily regarding disputes for failed agreements, divorce, civil and criminal matters. Listed below are legal terms you should know to ensure you are informed when you become involved in legal matters.

A CONTRACT is any signed binding agreement entered into by two or more parties describing the terms agreed to by both parties and the benefits, restrictions, guidelines and responsibilities of each party to the agreement. When signing an application for a credit card or the documents for a loan these agreements are contracts. A RENTAL AGREEMENT is a contract laying out the terms of the rental contract including length, monthly fees and responsibilities of the renter and landlord.

If you are interested in buying a new home there are a few terms you may want to know. An OFFER is a signed binding contract to purchase something according to specific terms. This will be used when trying to purchase property. An offer is presented to the seller for the purchase of that property. The seller will then sign an ACCEPTANCE, a binding contract to sell the property at the agreed upon terms, subject to agreement of any COUNTEROFFER terms. Once the offer and acceptance have been agreed to the contracts will then be entered into ESCROW, an action in which a third party holds an item or property until it has been determined that the parties to an agreement have completed all written terms of an exchange. Once all terms have been met and all parties sign all necessary documents the escrow will close and distribute all payments and legal documents to complete the purchase.

Unfortunately many marriages end in DIVORCE, the dissolving of the marriage. Some states may offer easy divorces, but in cases when property or children are involved the matter is taken to COURT. The court is a place where the CASE (the legal document requesting the divorce) is presented before a JUDGE, the person legally appointed to determine the outcome. If there is property involved the judge will make a RULING (court ordered decision) for the DISPENSATION, or distribution, of the property. When children are involved the court will determine CUSTODY of the children, deciding who will have responsibility for the physical care of the children. Complex issues in any PROCEEDINGS, or court processes, may necessitate consulting an attorney or lawyer as LEGAL COUNSEL to protect individual rights.

These are just a few examples of common legal terms everyone should know for living daily life in the United States. For additional terms for your specific needs an Internet search of your interests should help.