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Tracey Miller Family Law: Glossary of Legal Terms

Our family law glossary of legal terms aims to provide potential and current clients alike with a greater understanding of the legal terms involved in family law.

If you would like to speak to a family law solicitor about a potential case, or simply require more information about a specific area of family law, feel free to contact us via telephone or e-mail.

Divorce Glossary

Divorce
- To formally end a marriage
Petitioner
- The party applying for the divorce
Respondent
- The party receiving the divorce
Petition
- The application to the court to end a marriage
Certificate Of Reconciliation
- the document a solicitor must file with the court, informing the court whether the petitioner has been advised about a reconciliation and whether they have been given the names of any counsellors.
Acknowledgement of service
- The document the respondent returns to the court when they have received the divorce petition.
Decree Nisi
- The first court order regarding the divorce.
Decree Absolute
- the final court order regarding the divorce and ending the marriage.

Finance Glossary

Form A
- The application to the court for a financial order
Form E
- The financial statement that provides information about a party's finances.
Form H
- The costs schedule that must be filed before a court hearing.
FDA
- The first directions appointment.
FDR
- The financial dispute resolution hearing.
Final Hearing
- The court decides the financial settlement between the parties if matters have not been resolved.
The Former Matrimonial Home
- The last family home where the parties lived together as husband and wife.
Periodical Payments
- Regular maintenance payments from one party to the other.
Lump Sum Provision
- A capital payment from one party to the other.
Property Adjustment/Transfer
– A transfer of a property from one party to the other, most often being the former matrimonial home.
Pension Share
- An order transferring part of one party's pension fund to the other.
Consent Order
- An order setting out the financial settlement that the parties have agreed on.
Statement of Information
- A summary of the party's finances. This must accompany a consent order to court.

Children Glossary

Child Arrangement Order

- This includes provision for where and with whom a child lives or visits

Specific Issue Order
- An order determining a specific issue, for example: where a child will go to school.
Prohibited Steps Order
- An order preventing a party taking a particular action with a child.
Parental Responsibility
- The rights, duties and obligations that a parent has towards their child and their child's property.
Parental Responsibility Agreement/Order
- An agreement or court order conferring parental responsibility on one of a child's parents.

Miscellaneous Glossary

Judicial Separation
– Legal separation of a married couple.
Decree of Judicial Separation
- A decree of legal separation removing the duty to cohabit.
Civil Partnership
- Same sex marriage.
Dissolution
- Divorce for civil partners.
Decree of Dissolution
- A decree of divorce for civil partners.
Cohabittees
- People who live together but are not married.
Cohabitation Agreement
- An agreement between cohabittees regarding what will happen to their property and assets should their relationship breakdown.
Pre- Nuptial Agreement
- An agreement between people who are planning to marry, before the marriage, dealing with what will happen to their assets should their marriage breakdown.
Post- Nuptial Agreement
- An agreement between people after their marriage, dealing with what will happen to their assets should their marriage breakdown.
Pre – Registration Agreement
- An agreement between a same sex couple who are planning to enter into a civil partnership, before the civil partnership, dealing with what will happen to their assets should their civil partnership breakdown.
Separation Agreement
- An agreement between people who are going to be voluntarily separated dealing with what will happen on separation.
Resolution
- The solicitors family law association.
Non- Molestation Order
- An order preventing a person from harassing, molesting or interfering with another.
Occupation Order
- An order capable of forcing someone to leave a property, usually the former matrimonial home.
Joint Tenancy
- This describes a property held in joint names, meaning the right of survivorship applies.
Tenancy in Common
- A property is held in joint names but the right of survivorship does not apply.
Will
- A legal document which allows people to leave their assets to beneficiaries of their choice.