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Glossary of divorce & family law terms
Letter W

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

Welfare principle

The key principle in family law - that all decisions and orders will reflect the best interest of the child.

Whole life order

This is maintenance order which lasts until one of the parties dies, or if the receiving party remarries.


A legal document setting out a person’s wishes as to how their assets should be divided upon their death.

Without notice hearing

An application to the court which is made without the involvement of the other party.

Without prejudice

A form of correspondence and negotiation between the applicant and the respondent. Without prejudice correspondence typically contains offers for settlement to the other side. Should the parties proceed to final hearing the without prejudice correspondence and offers will not be revealed to the other side or to the judge.

Witness summons

Document requiring a person to attend court to give evidence.

Writ ne exeat regno

An order confiscating someone’s passport and preventing them from leaving the country. This can be used as a form of enforcement in exceptional circumstances.

Writ of control (formerly fieri facias)

This is an order allowing a judge (acting through a bailiff) to seize a debtor's goods in order to enforce an order.

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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