Glossary of divorce terms C

Here are a few words decoded to keep you up to speed with the divorce lawyers.  It's bad enough having to pay them, it's even worse if you have to keep asking what they are talking about.

CAFCASS The Children And Family Court Advisory And Support Services for England and Wales.

Care and Attention If your case becomes more complex or has to be dealt with urgently this term is used to describe the extra legal charge imposed by your solicitor.

sep_and_div.jpgChambers This is the name for the offices of barristers.

Charge This is similar to a mortgage on a property. When the property is sold the person entitled to the charge e.g. the other spouse or public funding authority is repaid the amount of the charge from the proceeds of the sale.

Child Support Maintenance paid by the non resident parent.

Child Support Agency/Child Maintenance Service The organisation set up to assess what maintenance non resident parents should pay. It has not been a success and is now likely to be abolished or re-organised in another form.

Clean Break A one-off order that deals with all the finances between a husband and wife. There can be no subsequent claim for any maintenance even if circumstances change. There can be no clean-break regarding children - this applies to spouses only.

Conciliation Another word for mediation.

Consent Order A court order which sets out what has already been agreed between two parties.

Contact Formerly known as 'access'. The time a non resident parent spends with his/her child as agreed between the parents and possibly the court.

Court Welfare Officer The previous title for the person used by the court to prepare a report about the best interests of a child when there is a dispute during a divorce. The new term is a CAFCASS Reporter.

Co-respondent The person with whom the respondent has committed adultery. It is no longer legally required for this person to be named and this can sometimes cause less acrimony.

Cross Decrees When both husband and wife are granted divorce decrees.

Cross Petition When the Respondent claims that he/she is entitled to a divorce. A cross petition is now a rarity partly because it is so expensive to fight a court battle and also because it makes no difference to financial/property provision on decree.

Custody A custody order gave one parent, or both, the right to have the child living with him or her on a day-to-day basis. It is now referred to as a Residence Order and is only made by the court if the parents cannot reach an agreement between themselves.

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