Separation agreement - A document which sets out the agreement reached in financial matters arising out of a separation without involving the court at all.

Service - The process by which court documents are formally sent to one spouse.

Special procedure - When a divorce is undefended, the decree can be issued without either spouse having to appear at court.

Specific issue order - An order to resolve a particular issue in dispute relating to a child, for example when parents cannot agree about schooling or medical treatment.

Spouse - a husband or wife you are married to.

Statement of Arrangements for Children - This form is sent to the court along with the divorce petition if there are any children. It sets out proposed arrangements for the children. If possible, this form should be agreed by the parents and signed.

Tenancy–in–common - A form of property ownership in which separate shares are agreed (usually when the property is purchased). If one of the owners dies their share will form part of their estate and will not automatically belong to the survivor unlike Joint Tenants.

Undefended divorce - Proceedings by agreement or when there is no answer.

Without prejudice - This is a way of preventing the court at the final hearing from knowing about any negotiations which did not result in an agreement. You may see this term at the start of a letter.