Click one of the letters below to advance the page to terms beginning with that letter.

Separation Agreement

A contract entered into by a couple, married or cohabiting, on separation dealing with the division of property assets and other financial matters

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In divorce proceedings the applicant is the person who starts off the process of divorce by issuing proceedings in the Family Court.

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The Children and Family Courts Advisory Service – a public body set up to promote the welfare of children in Family proceedings

Child Arrangements Order

A Court order setting out who a child will live with and how much time they will spend with their other parent, grandparents and others.

Civil Partnership

From 2005 until 2014 the only means by which a same sex couple could legally formalise their relationship to put themselves on an equal footing in terms of legal rights and responsibilities with a married couple. In England, Scotland and Wales a same sex couple can now achieve the same results by marrying.

Cohabitation Agreement

A formal agreement between a couple who live together as cohabitees setting out various rights and responsibilities particularly in connection with property and other assets.

Collaborative Law

A process that seeks to make divorce as amicable as possible by .

Consent Order

A Court order which is negotiated by separating spouses in Family proceedings.

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Decree Absolute

The final Court order which formally confirms the legal end of a marriage.

Decree Nisi

An interim Court order which acknowledges that the legal grounds for a divorce have been established but which does not itself formally end a marriage.


The legal process (similar to divorce) by which a civil partnership is brought to an end.

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Fixed fees

In the context of legal charges legal advice charged at a flat rate agreed in advance rather than on a time-spent basis.

Form E

A comprehensive form detailing all the financial circumstances of a party to a marriage which is submitted in divorce proceedings.

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A process for resolving issues arising from Family proceedings – typically divorce and separation but can apply to other areas of conflict where a trained mediator helps the parties reach solutions they can both accept as an alternative to an adversarial approach.

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Pre Nup

In full – a pre-nuptial agreement – a contract entered in to by a couple before they marry setting out their agreement as to how their property and assets will be split in the event that their marriage ends.

Prohibited Steps Order

A Court order in connection with children made at the request of a party which sets out specific acts that a parent may not do

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Specific Issue Order

A Court order in connection with children made at the request of a party which deals with issues relating to a child or children – for example medical treatment or education

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