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New Family Law and Divorce Terminology

The Government has published the new Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill which seeks to modernise some of the terminology used in divorce cases. You can read more about the Bill and the move to no-fault divorce in our previous blog.

Current Term or PhraseNew Term or Phrase
Decree NisiConditional Order
Decree AbsoluteFinal Order
Decree of DivorceDivorce Order
Divorce PetitionApplication for a Divorce Order
Decree nisi made absoluteDivorce order made final
After decree nisiBefore a divorce order has been made final
Grant a decree of divorceMake a divorce order
Decree of nullityNullity of marriage order
Presentation of a petitionMaking of an application
Filing of an answerFiling of a response
Grant of a decree of judicial separationMaking of a judicial separation order

The Government has stated that:

Some of the terminology in existing legislation, particularly in relation to divorce and judicial separation, would be updated to make the law more accessible, and to be consistent with the terminology in the more recent civil partnership legislation.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8594
House of Commons Chamber 1
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