The right of a parent to have his child with him and to care for the child.


55, 64                                     


Acknowledgement of Service

A form that a Respondent receives with a divorce Petition, which he is asked to return to the court, to confirm he has got the Petition.





An adjournment is to break off a court hearing, and resume later that day, or another day.


93, 95, 99



Penetrative sex, by a married person, with a third party of the opposite sex.


15, 24, 45, 49, 135,

138, 160, 170, 174



A member of a profession that values houses, pensions and other assets.




A written statement sworn and signed at a solicitor's office, usually as evidence for a court.




Maintenance.  See "Maintenance Order".



Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Agreeing matters without going to a court.



Ancillary Relief

A court seizing property, pension, money, income or anything else valuable in a divorce.


35, 36, 39, 65, 82,

161, 173, 204, 213


Ancillary Relief Order

The final court order on finance providing ancillary relief.




Annulment (or Nullity)

A court decision that a marriage is not, or never was, a proper or valid marriage.





The written reply, to a court, that a Respondent makes in answer to a divorce Petition.

An "Answer" must arrive at the court within a time limit (usually 28 days).


13, 16, 17, 24, 25,

26, 28, 29, 34, 38, 39, 43, 65, 80, 81, 82, 93, 97, 170, 175, 177, 196

Anti-stalking Order

A court order preventing one person from harassing, intimidating or threatening another.




A request to a higher court to cancel, or change, an order made by a lower court.


28, 37, 70, 72, 81-3, 91-4, 97-9, 100, 196, 204, 213, 221


Appeal Court

An appeal against an order by a District judge is heard by a Circuit judge.  The Court of Appeal hears appeals against decisions by a Circuit judge.  Appeals against decisions of the Court of Appeal go to the House of Lords.  Permission to appeal is sometimes needed.


37, 52, 72-5, 91



A written request to a court to make an order.  The court office has a form for this, and there is a fee.


83, 97, 115-6, 119-131,162, 222



The total value of forced payments, ordered by a court in the past, that have not been paid.




Anything that has value, such as:  a house, pension, cash, car, jewellery, furniture or shares.


21, 25, 27, 33, 35, 36-42, 45, 47, 56, 65-9, 133, 143-6, 147, 184, 204, 206, 213

Attachment of Earnings Order

A court order forcing an employer to send a part of someone's earnings to someone else (usually to his former wife).



Barrister (or Counsel)

An expensive lawyer whom solicitors sometimes get to represent a client in court.


44, 70, 73, 80,

102, 166, 197



Sir William Blackstone, the 18th century English judge whose "Commentaries on the Laws of England" is the most important statement of the rights and freedoms of the English people, and their Constitution.


8, 167, 230



A document giving all the information on a case.




See "Welfare Officer".


30, 54- 56, 58, 63, 92, 140


Calderbank Letter

A letter making a financial offer to settle a divorce.  (Only to be shown to the judge after he has decided what the settlement should be.)  The purpose of the letter is to show that the other person has been unreasonable, in not accepting the offer, and should pay costs.  These are now seldom used.




Capital Gains Tax

A tax that is sometimes paid on the profit made when a substantial asset is sold or transferred to someone else.


71, 149


Care and Attention

An item in a solicitor's bill for work done, and time spent, on a case.



Care Order

A court order giving a local authority responsibility for a child, and sometimes power to take the child from his family.



Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV)

The total cash value of all the contributions that have been paid into someone's pension fund, over the years.




"In Chambers" is a secret court.  The Public and Press are kept out to conceal what the court is doing.  You should always ask for them to be admitted.



Charge on Property

The right to get some of the money when property is sold.




Charging Order

A court order forcing the payment of a debt against property.  For example, a house might have to be sold to pay off the mortgage.




House contents and personal effects (furniture, curtains, jewellery, clothes etc).



Child Assessment Order

A court order for the medical assessment of a child.




Child Benefit

A State benefit paid to a person who cares for a child, until the child is 16 (or 19 if in full-time education).


27, 59, 78


Child Residence

Arrangements for a child to live with a particular person after a divorce or separation. 

Also called "Custody".


15, 27, 29, 33, 57,

72, 82, 146, 189


Child Support (or Child Maintenance)

Regular forced payments by one parent to the other for the needs of a child.  This usually continues until the child finishes secondary education, but can be extended to cover further education.


135, 172


Child Support Act 1991 (as amended)

The Act that transferred responsibility for deciding financial support for children from the courts to the Child Support Agency.



Child Support Agency

This government body calculates and collects forced payments from men not living with their children.  It issues leaflets explaining what it does and is universally despised.



Children's Guardian

A CAFCASS Officer, or "Welfare Officer", appointed by a court to represent a child, usually against a parent's wishes.




A list, in date order, of the main events in a marriage, leading to a divorce Petition,  prepared for a court.




Class F

A procedure for forcing a wife's demand to live in her husband's property, if it is not registered at the Land Registry.



Clean Break

A divorce where neither the man, nor the woman, will ever have to pay maintenance for the other.  This should remove any future threat to income, capital, property, pension and inheritance.


41, 84, 135



Sir William Blackstone, the 18th century English judge, wrote the "Commentaries on the Laws of England" which is the finest statement of the rights and freedoms of the English people; and their Constitution.


8, 167




Common Law

The rights, freedoms, customs and principles of justice of the English people, developed as rules of social conduct for more than a millennium, establishing open courts using trial by jury.


8, 9, 10, 73, 86,

107, 108, 132,

138, 198, 203, 224


Common Law Marriage

A popular term for a couple living together but not married.  It has no legal force in England.



Community Legal Service

A scheme provided by the Legal Services Commission to provide advice and legal aid  to some people for court cases, such as divorce.





Agreement on finance, children or anything else.

( Reconciliation is deciding not to divorce, and continue with the marriage.)


29, 43


Contempt of Court

The deliberate refusal to observe a court decision, or expressing scorn for a judge.  They can penalize you for this.


91, 105


Consent Order

A court order made with the agreement of both parties.



Contested Divorce

A divorce where the Respondent, who has received a divorce Petition, has put in an "Answer" saying that the grounds for divorce are false and he contests the divorce.


12, 13, 14, 24, 29

31, 38, 41, 44, 52

65, 80, 82, 175,

177, 196



Contact (or access) is the right to visit a child who lives with someone else, or to take the child out, or on holiday, or to have the child to stay temporarily.


57, 64, 146


Contact Order

A court order saying what contact a particular person can have with a child.




An man and woman permanently living together without marrying.




A person with whom a Respondent is said to have committed adultery (had sex).


49, 174



Fees charged by solicitors (and barristers).  Men are often forced to pay their wife's costs, even when she has Legal Aid.


15, 18, 21, 39, 41,

53, 67, 69, 70, 77,

79, 80, 82, 84, 92,

97, 100, 102, 104,106,

122, 129, 128, 204

Court of Appeal

See Appeal Court



Court Order

A document written by a judge that is legally binding on someone.

27, 37, 56, 62, 83, 86, 97, 149, 213, 221


A barrister who may represent a client in court, or gives an expert opinion on something.