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Glossary of divorce & family law terms
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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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An Islamic divorce under sharia law. The validity of this to English law will depend on the circumstances.

Tenancy in common

A way of owning property in which each party has a discrete share, which they can deal with separately.

The EU Maintenance Regulation

A complex piece of European law which affects jurisdiction and variation in relation to maintenance, as well as the recognition and enforcement of maintenance orders.

Third party debt order

An order that someone who owes money to a judgment debtor pay it to their creditor instead. This can be used to have a debtor’s bank balances transferred to you.

Third party disclosure order in divorce cases

Information requested from someone other than the petitioner and respondent.


An officer of the court who may, if ordered by the court, take people into custody for the breach of orders.

Top Up Maintenance

Where a paying partner earns more than the maximum amount covered by the Child Maintenance Service, the court can order them to pay additional maintenance for the child.


Same as a final hearing.


An arrangement where a trustee holds property on behalf of the beneficiary.


A person charged with looking after property on behalf of the beneficiary.

Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act (TOLATA)

A statute which allows the court to determine the beneficial owners of properties. Often used in cohabitee disuptes, or in matrimonial proceedings where there is a dispute about who owns property.

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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