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Glossary of divorce & family law terms
Letter O

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.

Please select from the letters below


Swearing on a Holy Book, or solemnly affirming, that a statement is true. Breach of an oath can be perjury.

Occupation order

Order of the court who has the right to remain in the family home. The occupation order does not affect the legal ownership of the home.

On paper

Where a court deals with an application without having a hearing.

Online divorce

A service allowing a person to complete and file divorce papers online. This will not resolve the financial matters.

Open court

If a hearing is in open court, members of the public and press can attend and report what happened without restrictions. Generally, family proceedings are not held in open court.

Open offer

The opposite to a without prejudice offer, this is one which can be referred to in court. The making of open offers may have consequeneces for costs orders.

Order for sale

An order that a property or shares be sold and the proceeds directed as ordered by the courts.

OS v DS hearing

Another term for a preliminary issue hearing.

Overriding objective

Principle that cases should be dealt with fairly, efficiently and in a cost-effective manner.

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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