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De-mystifying some legal terms...
- Ancillary Relief - this refers to the application for financial provision in divorce proceedings.
- Cohabitation - this is the term used to describe couples that live together without marrying or entering into a Civil Partnership.
- Collaborative Law - this is an approach which aims to avoid unnecessary Court proceedings. It can involve round the table meetings with both parties and their legal representatives in an effort to resolve matters amicably.
- Contact - this used to be known as "access". It describes the arrangements for the parent (or other person(s) e.g. grandparent) who does not live with the child to be part of the child's life. Contact can be direct - in the form of visits, or indirect - letters or telephone calls.
- Co-Respondent - the person with whom a Respondent has committed Adultery. The law does not require a Co-Respondent to be named in the divorce proceedings and recently has positively directed that the person should not be named. (from 06.04.11)
- Decree Absolute - this is a Court Order which signifies the end of a marriage. Once this has been obtained, both parties are then free to remarry.
- Decree Nisi - this is a provisional Court Order which precedes the Decree Absolute. It signifies that the Court is satisfied that the ground for divorce has been established.
- Joint Tenants - where a couple hold a property as Joint Tenants, upon the death of one party, the rule of "survivorship" applies. This means that the surviving party automatically becomes owner of the entire property.
- Mediation - a Mediator is an impartial third party who will meet with the parties and try to help them clarify and resolve their issues. Mediators do not aim to save a relationship, but to help parties agree arrangements for its breakdown. An awareness meeting may be necessary but we can advise you on the need for that.
- Parental Responsibility - those with Parental Responsibility are able to make day to day decisions in relation to a child. For example, in relation to education, religion and healthcare. Individuals other than the child's biological parents can obtain Parental Responsibility.
- Petitioner - the name given to the person applying for a divorce or Judicial Separation.
- Residence - the technical term for what is commonly referred to as "custody".
- Resolution - a national organisation of family lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce, separation and other family problems. To find out more please click here.
- Respondent - the name given to the person upon whom the divorce or Judicial Separation proceedings are served.
- Tenants in Common - where a couple hold a property as Tenants in Common, they each own a separate and distinct share in the property. This allows a party to bequeath their share to a third party in their will. It should be noted that the shares need not be 50-50.