A well respected, award winning social enterprise
Volunteer run - Government and charity funded
We help 50,000 people a year through divorce

01202 805020

Lines open: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
Call for FREE expert advice & service info


Term Main definition

Party who applies to the Court for an order.


Form of dispute resolution in which the parties appoint an arbitrator to adjudicate their dispute and make an award.


Final page of a court document giving document title, court details, case number, parties’ names, etc.


Officer of the court authorised to serve court documents on parties, execute arrest warrants and aid the tipstaff.

Barder Event

Change of circumstances which occurs immediately after the making of a financial order and which invalidates the basis upon which the order was made.



Lawyer who acts as a litigant’s advocate in court with greater rights of audience than a solicitor but is not an attorney and cannot conduct litigation.

Best Interests of the Child

Requirement that, “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration”.

Bird’s-Nest Custody

Shared parenting arrangement employed in the US and Canada in which the child remains in one home while the parents alternate between their own homes and that of the child.

Brussels II Revised

International agreement made between countries of the European Union which brings together in a single regulation all provisions on parental responsibility and divorce.


File of relevant documents used by the Court for a particular hearing.

Burden of Proof

Imperative on a party to provide the evidence which proves their position.

Capacity (1)

Intellectual ability to carry out certain functions such as to have sexual relations and marry, or understand a case and instruct a solicitor.

Capacity (2)

Legal status enabling two parties to marry each other; i.e., that they are not already married, or not related to each other in a way that prohibits marriage, etc.

Care Order

Court order made on application by a local authority under Section 31 of the Children Act 1989 that a child be placed in their care.

Case Conference

Meeting convened by social services and others to determine what intervention should be taken regarding a child.

Want to know more about Family Law terminology?

A big thank you to Nick and Ruth Langford for their contribution to the Wikivorce glossary. For a more in-depth definition of the various legal terms listed above take a look at their book : The Family Law A to Z available to buy on Amazon.