The world of separation can be hard enough, without having to decipher all of the jargon and terminology commonly used around divorce, separation, child arrangements and much more.

Below is Dads Unlimited’s guide to understanding the language, words, phrases, and TLAs (three-letter acronyms). It’s regularly updated, so do check back, and please contact us if there are more terms that you think we should include.

A-Z of Separation

A

B

C

  • C100 – The application form to apply to the court for an order including child arrangements order, specific issue order, and prohibited steps order
  • C1A – A court form alleging domestic abuse or harm, a supplementary form sometimes submitted alongside the C100 or in response to receiving a C100
  • Cafcass – Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. For more information visit https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/
  • CAO – Child Arrangements Order

D

DRA – Dispute Resolution Appointment. This is the name given to a hearing ahead of the final hearing, normally the second hearing, and it is to try and identify the remaining issues to be determined. It can also be used as a final hearing if the court decide as such.

E

F

FHDRA – First Hearing and Dispute Resolution Appointment. This is the name given to the first time that you go to court in an application for a Child Arrangements Order or similar. The aim here is to discover which issues the parties agree on and what still needs to be determined by the court process. It is at this first hearing that directions will be given for the next hearing on what needs to be done by each party, or by a third-party expert, to move the case forward.

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

  • Non-Mol – Non-Molestation Order, sometimes colloquially referred to as a restraining order. A court order which prevents harassing or behaviour taking place, for example; stopping someone from coming within 100 metres of your house, or prohibiting someone from sending harassing text messages

O

P

  • PSO – Prohibited Steps Order: a court order preventing something from happening, for example; stopping a child being taken abroad by one of the parents for fear of abduction or harm

Q

R

S

  • SI – Specific Issue Order, a court order determining a decision on a specific issue, for example; which school a child should attend

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z