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Glossary of Legal Terms

We set out below a list of family law terminology to try and assist you in better understand what lawyers are talking about and some of the specific terms used. This glossary provides general information only. Specialist professional advice should always be taken and we cannot accept any liability for reliance on it.

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R

Residence

A concept used significantly by countries to denote a connectedness with a country to form the basis of jurisdiction for proceedings. It should be distinguished from habitual residence.

Residence indicates a simple act of residing in a country even though, under English law, it can be circumstances where there may be illegality of residence or a requirement to leave in the future or only be residing short-term. Admitting residence carries tax implications. A person can have a residence in more than one country at the same time.

Residence Order

A residence order settles a child's living arrangements. A residence order does not have any effect on the parental responsibility of either parent (except for a non-parent who previously had a residence order in their favour).

More than one person can be granted a residence order and these are called shared residence orders. In these circumstances, the court will determine how much time the child will spend with each parent. It does not automatically mean spending equal time with each parent. In practical terms, a shared residence order is easier to put into effect when the parents live relatively close to each other although distance itself is not an automatic bar to a joint residence order being made.

Resolution

The organisation of family law solicitors who commit to conducting cases according to a conciliatory and settlement focused code of conduct, and which has been actively involved in encouraging good practice and law reform.

Respondent

Refers to the party in the proceedings who is responding to the application. The term can be used specifically (referring to the Respondent to the divorce proceedings) or more generally when the reference is to the party responding to an application made by another, "the Applicant".

Rights of Custody

This has a special meaning in the context of child abduction as only a parent with rights of custody can seek the return of an abducted child. The definition varies from country to country so specialist advice in the relevant country is necessary. England gives a wide definition and includes the right to determine, and be consulted on, the child's country and place of residence.

 

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