A glossary of divorce terms from our family solicitors Emsworth


When it comes to getting a divorce in the UK, it can get technical and complicated very quickly.

And, even with the help of a trained legal team, you may still struggle to make sense of what we do and the different stages involved in the process of divorce.

At Andrew & Andrew, our family solicitors Emsworth have over 60 years of experience with helping families. We pride ourselves on the support that we offer, alongside our level of professionalism that makes us one of the top legal firms in the UK for all family-related issues.

So, if you come to us for a divorce, what are the meanings behind some of the terminologies that we will use? Here, our family solicitors Emsworth provide a short glossary to help you make more sense of the divorce process.

Child support

If you have a child with your soon to be former spouse, whether you pay or receive child support will depend on whether the child lives with you.

If you do not reside with this child, then you will be required to pay a fixed sum per month or week to the parent that the child lives with.

If you need help with the reduction of child support payments or are unsure if your former spouse is utilising the money correctly, talk to our family solicitors Emsworth.

Decree absolute

This is the final stage of the divorce process; when you receive a decree absolute, you are officially divorced and can remarry.

Decree nisi

At present, when leading up to a divorce in the UK, you need to provide a reason for the separation; this can be adultery, unacceptable behaviour, etc.

When you receive a decree nisi, this means that the divorce court has been properly established.

However, with divorce law in the UK, there will soon be a ‘no-faults’ divorce, which may mean that a decree nisi will no longer be required as part of the divorce process.


This can be different from child support and applies to payments that are to be made to your spouse during your separation and after your divorce.


Most solicitors, including ours, will offer mediation.

This is where you and your former spouse sit down with a member of our team along with your spouse’s legal representative and come to an agreement relating to financial issues, housing and child access.

If there are disagreements during this process that cannot be resolved, then your divorce may have to go through court, which is something we will aim to avoid due to the costs and time involved.

Remember, divorce is always going to be stressful and emotive, and, whether you are beginning the divorce process or are looking for a different legal team to take over, our team of experienced solicitors at Andrew & Andrew can help.

We strive to reduce your stress as much as we can and will always work with you to ensure that you get the results you want, so call us today!