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Term Main definition
Interim Order

Order made as a temporary measure at the commencement of proceedings.


Sheet of paper upon which the court order is written.


Third party who becomes involved in a case because of a specific issue.


A degree of contact with a child either direct or indirect.

Irretrievable Breakdown

Sole ground for divorce in the English and Welsh jurisdiction.


False and malicious claim to a marriage which has no existence.


False and malicious claim to a marriage which has no existence.


To become a party to a case.


Officer of the court who presides over proceedings with responsibility to manage a case effectively, ensure correct procedure is followed and issue directions and orders based on the evidence and the law.


Spoken or written decision of a judge and the reasoning behind it.


System of courts of law and tribunals.

Judicial Continuity

Principle that a single judge should hear a case from beginning to end.

Judicial Discretion

Wide latitude of a judge to make whatever order he thinks appropriate.

Judicial Separation

Decree in which the parties remain legally married but the obligations of the marriage cease.

Jurat (Latin: “he swears”)

Clause at the end of an affidavit stating the date, place, and name of the person before whom it was sworn.

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.