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3 Divorce and Separation

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1. Introduction

2. Where to start

3. Separation

4. Divorce

5. If you have children

6. Supporting your children

7. Money and property

8. Making arrangements should you die

9. Dealing with emergencies

10. Terms used in divorce and family law

Some words and phrases have special legal meanings in family (divorce) proceedings.

Adultery
Full sexual intercourse while you are married with someone who is not your husband or wife.

Affidavit
A formal, written statement sworn to be true.

Ancillary relief or financial relief
Financial orders made by the courts in divorce or judicial separation proceedings.

Co-respondent
The person adultery has been committed with. This applies only where adultery is the reason for the divorce, though co- respondents are not usually named.

Contact
When and for how long the children will see or communicate with the non-resident parent (the parent they don't live with). Contact can include phone calls and letters (indirect contact) as well as visits and overnight stays (staying contact).

Decree absolute
The final decree of divorce -the marriage is over only after this has been made.

Decree nisi
The first decree of divorce, when the court is satisfied that the grounds for the divorce have been proved. This does not end the marriage.

Maintenance/child support
Money that the husband or wife pays to the other. It is  supposed to be paid regularly to support the husband or wife or children.

Periodical payments
Another name for maintenance.

Petition
The document that sets out the reason for the divorce or judicial separation and asks the court to grant it.

Petitioner
The person who starts the proceedings by filing a petition at the court.

Respondent
The person the petition is filed against.

Residence
Where the children will live and who they will live with after divorce.

11. Further Help

12. About this leaflet







This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Imogen Clout, a solicitor specialising in family law.

Leaflet version: May 2016




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