Divorce solicitor jargon buster

Your divorce solicitor should be able to give advice in plain, straightforward English but, nevertheless, it can be handy to have an understanding of the legal terms that will be banded about in the course of your divorce proceedings. Listed below are term that are more than likely to crop up to help you assist your divorce solicitor and get a better insight into your case.

The Divorce Petition

Your divorce solicitor prepares this document to begin proceedings and is also know as the D8. There will be copies for you, the court and your husband or wife.


The person who files the petition and commences proceedings.


The spouse against whom proceedings are brought.


An individual involved in the proceedings - either the petitioner or respondent.


This is the form in which the respondent's divorce solicitor will defend the marriage should their client choose to.

Decree Nisi

The first stage of the divorce proper, granted by the Court once satisfied by the grounds for divorce. Your divorce solicitor may be able to conduct the process by post without having to attend court.

Decree Absolute

The final stage of the process which means you are free to re-marry. Only occurs once the Court is satisfied with the arrangements for children proposed by your divorce solicitor. The care arrangments and financial order will only come into effect once the decree absolute has been granted.


A written declaration made under oath.

Irretrievable breakdown

The Court requirement for dissolving a marriage. Your divorce solicitor must prove this in one of five different ways.

Using a divorce solicitor

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