Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

Divorce and separation

access

noun

the legal right to visit your children after you are divorced

alimony

noun

money that someone pays to support a husband or wife who they are no longer married to

co-respondent

noun

in a divorce case, someone accused of having sex with the husband or wife of the person who wants to get divorced

decree absolute

noun

an order by a court of law that ends a marriage and makes two people officially divorced

decree nisi

noun

an order made by a court of law that says a marriage will end on a particular date unless someone can show that there is a good reason not to end it

dissolution

noun

the process of officially ending a marriage or other legal agreement

dissolve

verb

to officially end a marriage or other legal agreement

divorce

verb

to take legal action to end your marriage. If two people agree to stop living together, but do not legally end their marriage, they separate

ex

noun

the person that someone used to be married to or used to have a romantic relationship with

joint custody

noun

an arrangement in which parents who are divorced both have responsibility for looking after a child and both give the child a home for some of the time

maintenance

noun

money that you pay to your ex-wife or ex-husband to help her or him and your children after you are divorced

palimony

noun

money that a court orders someone to pay to a partner who they used to live with but were not married to

petitioner

noun

someone who asks a court to officially allow them to get divorced

prenup

noun

an agreement made by two people before they marry about how they will divide their money and property if they get divorced

prenuptial agreement

noun

an agreement made by a man and woman before they marry about how they will divide their money and property if they get divorced

respondent

noun

the defendant in a court case, especially someone who is getting divorced

separate

verb

to stop living with your husband, wife, or sexual partner

separation

noun

a period of time that people who are usually together spend apart

separation

noun

a decision by a husband and wife not to live together

split up

to end a marriage or a sexual or romantic relationship

tug-of-love

noun

a disagreement between parents who are divorced or living separately about who their child should live with

visitation

noun

the right of a divorced parent to visit children who live with the other parent

Open Dictionary

chicken raffle

any random process, such as a competition in which a name is drawn from a hat

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog