CAFCASS - The Children And Family Court Advisory And Support Services for England and Wales. You will meet a CAFCASS officer if you apply to the court for any order affecting your child, for example Contact or Residence.

In chambers - This term is when the District Judge or Judge considers an application in private. This is less formal than open court.

Charge - A charge on a property is like an additional mortgage. It gives the holder of the charge security as he/she has to be paid out of the proceeds of the eventual sale of the house.

Child Abduction - The illegal removal of a child from its home, in particular removal from one country to another. A removal may be illegal even if it is by a parent who lives with the child, if someone with the right to help make decisions about the child, such as the other parent, has not given their permission

Civil Partnership - The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into operation on 5 December 2005 and enables a same-sex couple to register as civil partners of each other. It provides same-sex couples who form a civil partnership with an equality of treatment in a wide range of legal matters with those opposite-sex couples who enter into a civil marriage.

Clean break - A one-off order that deals with all the finances between a husband and wife. There can be no subsequent claim for any maintenance even if circumstances change.

Collaborative Law – A new approach built on mutual problem-solving where both parties and their lawyers pledge to work together to negotiate an agreement without going to court.

Conciliation - This is a type of mediation usually in court which helps couples to sort out arrangements for children. If it is outside of the court process, it is usually known as mediation.

Consent order - An order made by a court in terms agreed by both husband and wife.

Contact -(previously known as Access). The arrangement for the child or children to visit or stay with the parent who no longer lives with them. Indirect contact means the exchange of letters, telephone calls or presents. Contact orders can also be made in favour of others, for example grandparents.

Co-respondent - The person with whom your spouse (the respondent) has committed adultery. It is no longer legally required for this person to be named.

Counsel - Another name for a Barrister.

Cross-petition - This is when the Respondent argues different grounds for the divorce from those of the Petitioner.

Custody – The old term for Residence. See Residence.