CLS Direct - Home Page

Site Map | Feedback | Key Shortcuts | Help   

3 Divorce and Separation

pdf icon

Download Divorce and Separation (PDF File, 295kb)

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

The person the petition is filed against.

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 2019

go to top of page

CLS Legal Info Leaflets

Find a local Advisor

Enter your postcode or town to find a local advisor.

CLS Legal Information Leaflets Legal Factsheets CLS Fund & Charges Legal Aid Calculator Other Links Using Advice Search Topics Using the Directory Nationals & Helplines Categories of Law Charges Complaints News Quality Mark Information for Providers