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9 Legal Terms You Need To Know

By far the biggest benefit of talking to or instructing a solicitor is the peace of mind they provide with their legal expertise. However, it can also be helpful to brush up on some of the terminology your solicitor may use. This will help you understand any documents or advice they go through with you, whether you’re going through a divorce, moving to the UK, or need guidance on child custody.


1. Divorce


No one plans for divorce in the same way they do marriage, but nearly half of all marriage and civil arrangements in the UK result in a permanent split. Divorce is a legal process that formally ends a marriage or civil partnership. It involves the dissolution of the legal responsibilities and duties of the spouses and is undertaken by a divorce or family law solicitor.


Previously one party had to take the ‘blame’ for the relationship ending. But now, ‘no-fault divorces’ allow for a spouse or couple jointly to end their marriage due to a more straightforward partnership breakdown.


2. Financial remedy

Sometimes referred to as ‘ancillary relief’, this term refers to the legal process of resolving financial matters during the divorce process. It covers the division of assets, debts, and financial support and can encompass matters such as property settlements, spousal maintenance, and financial provision for children.


3. Chattel


In legal terms, chattel refers to a movable personal property or asset that is not permanently affixed to land or real estate — for example, furniture or vehicles.


Chattel is separate from land and property. And because it relates to ownership and transferable rights of ownership, it’s an important term to familiarise yourself with when speaking to family solicitors.


4. Child custody


By far one of the most important terms and one that anyone with children should familiarise themselves with. Child custody refers to the legal arrangements and decisions regarding the care, control, and upbringing of a child or children following a divorce or separation. A child custody solicitor is the person to speak to when discussing a child’s living arrangements.


5. Spousal visa


If you’re a non-UK national married to a British citizen or settled person in the UK, you may need a spousal visa in order to live with them.


A spousal visa enables a non-UK partner to reside and work here for a specified time and usually provides the same rights to the spouse as the original visa holder.

6. Study visa / Tier 4 visa


Another important visa term to know, a study visa enables international students to live in the UK while studying here. It’s also known as a Tier 4 visa and is specifically tailored for individuals who have been accepted into a recognised educational institution in the UK — such as a university or college.

An immigration solicitor can help you further understand both study visas and spousal visas.

7. Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR):


Often referred to as settled status, this is a type of immigration status granted to individuals who have been living lawfully in the UK for a specific period. It allows them to stay in the UK without any time restrictions. It’s an option for international residents who don’t wish to accept citizenship — which in some cases involves renouncing one's own home citizenship.


8. Right of abode


This is a UK immigration status that grants individuals the unrestricted right to live and work in the UK without any immigration restrictions or time limits. It is a status that can be acquired through various means, such as being a British citizen or having ancestral connections to the UK.


9. Sponsorship


In the context of immigration, sponsorship refers to the process where a person or organisation (often a prospective employer) assumes legal responsibility for a person’s entry and stay in the UK.


Family law and immigration solicitors in Southall, London

While it’s good to know these common legal terms, there’ is no substitute for expert advice. New Court Solicitors is to help support you and guide you through your legal journey. Contact us today to find out how our family law and immigration solicitors can help you.

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