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Glossary of divorce & family law terms
Letter M

Our glossary will help you to understand some of the key terms and phrases which might crop up in your legal case.

This guide is no replacement for top legal advice but will allow you to know more about the process and what it entails.

For leading legal advice tailored to your case, contact Vardags today.

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Maintaining the financial status quo

Parties are required to keep financial arrangements, for example paying housekeeping money or credit card bills, the same as they were prior to the divorce.

Maintenance pending suit (MPS)

Maintenance paid by one party to another during the course of proceedings.

Maintenance Regulation

A piece of European law which controls how maintenance claims are considered and enforced across the EU.


Maintenance term

An order saying that maintenance should stop after a certain point. Depending on the order, this may be extendable.

Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA)

The main piece of law which governs divorce in England and Wales.

Matrimonial property

Matrimonial property refers to assets and income which are created or earned during the course of the marriage.

Matrimonial property regime

Common in European countries, this is similar in effect to a prenuptial agreement. At the outset of a marriage, the parties opt-in or opt-out of laws governing how their property is to be held during the course of the marriage and divided on divorce.

McKenzie friend

A person without legal qualifications who assists a litigant in person through their family law matter.

Mediation (in divorce cases)

A form of alternative dispute resolution. A mediator helps the parties reach a mutual agreement.

Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)

A meeting, now required by the courts in most cases, to see if mediation is a suitable way of resolving the case.

Mesher order

An order that a party should retain a share in a property, but that the sale of the property is deferred until a date in the long term future, for example when children have left school.

The information on this website is intended as a guide and does not constitute legal advice. Vardags do not accept liability for any errors in the information on this website, nor any losses stemming from reliance upon the statements made herein. All articles and pages aim to reflect the legal position at time they were published, and may have been rendered obsolete by subsequent developments in the law. Should you require specialist advice, tailored to your situation, please see how Vardags can help you.

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