Divorce Glossary – What the Technical Terms Mean For You

a judge listens to the fuss and squabble of a husband and wife

During the full course of a divorce, there are a number of technical and legal terms that parties will come across.

Defining these terms and explaining what they mean to individuals involved is one of the jobs of a divorce solicitor in London, like Saracens Solicitors. A good law firm will ensure that their clients are well-informed at every stage of the process so that they remain in control and feel like the divorce reflects their requirements accurately.

Common terms in divorce

Below are just a few of the common terms that a divorce solicitor in London will explain to clients.

D8 – this is the form that is used to apply for the divorce. It is often filed by one of the parties involved but the other party can file their own petition as well. It lays out biographical details, grounds for divorce, and any agreements that have already been made. It is helpful for clients to involve a divorce solicitor in London, even at this early stage because the D8 is one of the most important documents that is utilised during proceedings.

Acknowledgement of service – once a D8 has been submitted, the respondent (the other person named in the divorce), is sent a copy of all the details. The respondent then completes, signs and returns an Acknowledgement of Service to confirm if they consent to the divorce or not.

Contact agreement – this details the arrangements around childcare and access to a child. It usually defines the non-resident parents’ rights and responsibilities for example how much contact they can have with a child. Sometimes, a grandparent or other significant adult might be the subject of a contact agreement.

Non-molestation order – in difficult circumstances, where one party feels under threat or intimidation, harassment or violence, a court may issue a non-molestation order. Once the respondent becomes aware of the order, it is a criminal offence for them to breach the terms.

Undertaking – an undertaking is a formal pledge to do something. In the context of a divorce, it is where one or both parties agree to do something in a court of law. This becomes a legally binding promise that can result in prosecution if it is not kept.