Blog - Definitions

Legal Aid – Violence – new definition

Broadly, Legal Aid was abolished on 1 April for divorce and family matters.  However, a spouse or partner who can prove domestic violence can still get Legal Aid – not just to deal with any allegations of domestic violence, but for every aspect of their divorce / dispute. There’s a new definition of ‘domestic violence’
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Old Terminology

‘Custody’ as a legal expression went out when the Children Act came into force in 1991.  Since then, what the court orders (if it orders anything at all) is simply who the child is to live with – a residence order. Since 1991 ‘access’ to a child has been ‘contact’ with a child.  You still
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Swear or affirm?

During your divorce you may have to swear an affidavit, or swear that the contents of a statement or a financial disclosure form are true.  If you are uncomfortable with the idea of swearing an oath, you can opt for the non-religious version, called affirmation.  Simply tell the person administering the oath (a solicitor or
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Home rights

If you are separating or divorcing and your matrimonial home is owned by your spouse, you should register your ‘home rights’ at the Land Registry.  Registering your home rights effectively prevents your spouse from dealing with the property (e.g. selling it or mortgaging it) without your consent. Until the introduction of civil partnerships, home rights
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Setting aside a transfer

If you suspect that your spouse has transferred an asset such as a property or some shares to someone else with the intention of making their assets look smaller than they actually are, you can ask the court to make an order setting aside the transfer.  The Court of Appeal recently set aside the transfer
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Round table meeting

A meeting between divorcing spouses and their solicitors, usually at the offices of one of the solicitors.  Can be an effective way of bridging a gap and achieving financial settlement.  Needs to be timed right.  Not the same as mediation.

Statement of information

When a couple’s financial arrangements are settled by agreement rather than by the court making the decision for them, a draft financial consent order is drafted and agreed and sent to the court for approval.  The draft order has to be accompanied by a ‘statement of information for a consent order’ in which the parties’
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Section 10 application

With any divorce based on separation (two years with consent or five years) the respondent can make a financial application  – a ‘Section 10 application’.  The application is made after decree nisi has been pronounced and has the immediate effect of preventing the decree from being made absolute – which is usually the sole purpose for making
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Five years’ separation

You can get a divorce if you have lived apart from your spouse for five years or more.  Unlike a divorce based on two years’ separation, you don’t need your spouse’s consent.  You do however have to prove that your spouse has received the divorce papers and thus knows about the divorce.  Alternatively if your
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Two years’ separation with consent

If you have been separated for two years you can get divorced without having to prove that your spouse has done anything wrong.  You do however need your spouse’s consent.  It is best to be certain before you start divorce proceedings that your spouse will definitely give their consent.

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