Family law glossary - P

P

Parental responsibility  
All the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that a parent of a child has by law. Unmarried fathers do not automatically have parental responsibility but can now acquire it by being named on a child’s birth certificate.
 
Party / Parties  
People involved in Court proceedings either as the applicant(s) or respondent(s).
 
Pension Sharing Order  
A provision for a pension to be divided between spouses upon divorce.
 
Personal service
Personal delivery (i.e. not by mail) of documents.
 
Polygamy
Being married to more than one person at a time.
 
Power of arrest 
An order attached to injunctions to allow the police to arrest a person who has broken the terms of the order.
 
Prenuptial Agreement 
An agreement entered into by spouses before they marry which is intended to determine issues if the couple divorces. The content of the agreement can vary widely but generally includes division of assets and other financial matters. The Courts are not bound by such agreements but may attach weight to them.
 
Prohibited Steps Order  
A Court Order which prevents a certain action being taken in respect of a child, e.g. changing their name or taking them abroad.
 
Property Adjustment Order        
A Court Order which adjusts the ownership of property e.g. an order transferring property from joint names into the sole name of a spouse. 
 
Putative father 
A person who is the alleged / presumed father of an illegitimate child.

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