Parent with Care

A term in the Child Support Act 1991 to mean the parent with whom the child has his or her home and who usually provides day to day care for the child

Parenting plan

An agreement prepared by parents to deal with the day-to-day care and needs of children (for example, who takes the children swimming, who buys the school uniform, who deals with pocket money).

For more information see


Party is a legal term for anyone directly involved in the case. They can be the person who filed (or petitioned) for divorce (also known as the applicant or petitioner) or the person who received the petition (known as the respondent).

Prohibited Steps Order

An Order restricting a parent from taking certain actions in relation to a child, for example preventing them from removing them from the UK or from changing their schooling or surname.

Relevant Child

Child of the family under 16 years of age at the date of the decree nisi or between 16 and 18 years of age receiving instruction at an educational establishment or undergoing training for a trade, profession or vocation (or up to any age if disabled or dependent)


If you wish to move with a child to live elsewhere, it may be referred to as a relocation. If you wish to move within England and Wales it is referred to as an internal relocation and if you wish to move abroad, it is referred to as an external relocation, or alternatively as a removal from jurisdiction.

Reserved Costs

When decision on amount of costs to be awarded is deferred until a later hearing


The spouse who is not the petitioner

Section 8 Order

This refers to all orders that the court is able to make under section 8 of the 1989 Children Act. These include children arrangement orders, prohibited steps orders and specific issues orders to decide a specific point and dispute.

Service (to serve)

For the process of delivering court documents, generally by post, but sometimes ‘in person’. Often the court will direct that certain documents must be served (sent) to specific parties and filed (sent) with the court. If Cafcass are involved, they will also need copies of any documents that are served.