A list of family law terminology to help better understand what lawyers are talking about and some of the specific terms used. This glossary provides general information only. Professional advice should always be taken and we cannot accept any liability for reliance on it.
Inheritance Tax which may be charged on the value of a person’s estate (generally) at death. Specialist advice is needed if an issue, which we can arrange for you.
Indemnity costs/Standard costs
Good to get, horrid to pay. Indemnity costs are particularly awarded where the court disapproves of the way that a case has been conducted. It is likely to involve making a payment to the other side of a high proportion of his/her total legal bills (perhaps up to 95%). If an ordinary costs order is made (an order that one contributes to the legal costs incurred by the other) this is likely to be a Standard costs order and likely to involve a payment of between say 65% and 75% of the actual costs incurred. Total costs owed to a solicitor are rarely recovered against the other party. Increasingly the amounts of costs are assessed at the hearing when the costs order is made.
refers to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, which gives spouses, former spouses and children (as well as others) the right to claim capital or monthly sums from the estate of a person who has died. It is invariably based on circumstances where the deceased was maintaining the applicant at date of death. The Act gives the family courts the power to terminate the right to make those claims in the future when hearing the financial claims at the time of divorce.
A court order that requires action or prohibits action. Often accompanied by a penal notice which carries risk of imprisonment for breach.
The unfortunate (nay, careless) act of dying without a will (“he has died intestate”). Intestacy laws lay down the rules by which “an intestate’s” estate are divided between family members – sometimes in a sadly inappropriate fashion. Until decree absolute, most or all of an estate may go to your spouse which you may no longer want. This is why I recommend to make a fresh will at a time of family breakdown. We can arrange this for you.
The process of making an application, paying a fee and having it sealed by the court. The application is then referred to as issued and is ready to be “served”.