This a concept that is a little bit counterintuitive in family law – the PEACE acronym. In family law cases, we use an acronym PEACE to determine all of the different aspects of your case. I’m going to explain what everything means kind of broken down by letter, so that you can refer to those if you have a case or a question that falls into those categories.
All right so, PEACE. P stands for parenting. Anytime that you have a family law case, the very first thing, the most important thing that we as family law lawyers and judges always look to in the order that we present evidence in and it’s always going to start with the kids. Parenting issues. Who’s going to be responsible for the kids? What is the time? What is best for the kids? That’s the P in PEACE.
The next up is E, now everyone thinks in a divorce it’s all about dividing up money and dividing up stuff and there is a big part of family law cases and that’s the E. It’s the equitable distribution of your assets and your liabilities. So that’s the next step in the process, you get all your stuff, you figure out if it’s marital and needs to be divided and when we divide it. That’s your E in PEACE.
“A” is the next letter in the PEACE acronym and that stands for alimony. So after you’ve figured out your parenting issues, after you’ve divided all your stuff, then you start to look at the relative incomes of the parties and the need, ability to pay alimony.
The next letter is C. Now this is everything with to do with the payment of child support. So it’s a little bit confusing because a lot of people think that the P actually encompasses the child support, but it’s actually the C. After you determine alimony, after you determine the equitable distribution and after you determine the best interests of the children, then you look to the issue of child support.
Now, the E, that stands for everything else. That’s when you have things like attorney’s fees, potentially other aspects like who’s going to keep passports or is there a need for quick claim deeds, everything else falls into that E category. And that’s you’re PEACE acronym, P-E-A-C-E, that we handle in family law.