Glossary of divorce terms H-M

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.

Hearing A proceeding before the court that attempts to resolve an issue through testimony, legal arguments, and the introduction of evidence.

In Chambers This term is when the district judge or judge considers an application in private. This is less formal than open court.

sep_and_div.jpgInjunction A court order telling someone what to do or forbidding someone from doing something e.g. where there has been domestic violence.

Interim Hearings Hearings for a judge to hear applications for interim court orders e.g. for personal protection, child contact, or spousal maintenance. Decisions are for the short term

Judicial Separation A decree which means that the parties will be living separately but which does not end the marriage.

Jurisdiction The authority of a court to rule on a particular legal matter. Different types of court have different jurisdictions.

Legal Aid Now referred to as Public Funding. Government assistance with legal costs. Any money expended by the government will have to be repaid by the person receiving the public funding if he/she recovers any assets as a result of the divorce.

Legal Separation A legal agreement or court judgement formally authorising a couple to live apart and setting out the terms for their living apart although the couple is still married to one another.

MacKenzie Friend this is a lay helper who can go with you into court, with the court's permission. However, he/she does not have the right to address the court directly or examine a witness.

Maintenance The regular payment of money by one spouse to another for their financial support. Maintenance may be provided for only a limited period of time or can last until the payee spouse dies or remarries. Also known as Spousal or Periodical Payments.

Maintenance Application Form and Maintenance Enquiry Form These are standard forms sent out to both parents by the CSA or CMS.

Matrimonial Home Any property in which a married couple live together whether they own or rent it.

Matrimonial Home Rights These are the rights of occupation of both spouses to live in the family home until the decree absolute. If there is domestic abuse or violence you should seek immediate advice from your solicitor or the police as the courts have powers to alter this arrangement in some cases.

Mediation Attending sessions with a professionally qualified mediator who can help a husband and wife reach their own solutions in matters concerning children or divorce finances without going to court.

Minutes of Order This is when draft terms of agreement go before the court with a request that a Consent Order be made in the same terms.

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