Family Law Specialist

Nicola Williams Solicitor

Nicola Williams Solicitor

Cheadle, Stockport,
Greater Manchester

Family Law & Finances

Nicola Williams Solicitor

Nicola Williams Solicitor

financial family law for individuals and families

What is a beneficial interest – and other family law terminology

What is a beneficial interest? Is a living together agreement the same as a cohabitation agreement? What is a property adjustment order? What does it all mean?

Family law is complicated enough. So here’s a list of the most common phrases you may come across (what is a beneficial interest?) together with their usual meaning, their purpose and anything they’re also known by.

TermMeaningPurposeAlso known as
Ancillary reliefOrders that may be made by a court ancillary to (in addition to) the main proceedings. Most often used to refer to maintenance and property orders at the end of a divorce.To re-distribute assets and income at the end of divorce, dissolution or nullity proceedings.
Financial provision, maintenance, lump sum order, property adjustment order, pension sharing.
Beneficial interestThe right to benefit in/from an asset. Often the right to live in, or share the profit from, a property without legally owning it.To avoid issues where the legal ownership of an asset does not (or cannot in the case of children) reflect who is really entitled to some or all of the rights in it.Equitable interest.

Beneficial owner.

(See Tenant in Common below)
Clean breakAn order that removes the right to make future claims for income or capital.To bring an end to claims for financial provision on divorce or dissolution of civil partnership.Order for financial provision.
Cohabitation agreementAn agreement in writing between two or more people living together in a property.To prevent unintended changes to the beneficial ownership of property, caused by living together and sharing bills and other living costs.Living together agreement.
Consent orderA court order that is made with the agreement of all parties and the judge.To make an agreement legally binding.
Or:
To agree steps to be taken at any stage in court proceedings.
Agreed order/agreed financial order.
FDAShort for First Directions Hearing.Orders made to prepare the case for hearing. E.g. production of documents, valuations etc.First Directions Hearing.
FDRShort for Financial Dispute Resolution hearing.A stage in court proceedings when a judge provides input to help the parties negotiate a settlement.Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing.
Joint tenantsTwo, three or maximum four owners of property who own an undivided share in it.Property automatically redistributed to the surviving owner(s) when one dies without needing probate or administration of an intestacy. Often the way married couples own joint property.Joint tenancy
Legal and beneficial joint tenants
Property adjustment orderAn order to transfer property or an order to settle property (hold it on trust)To provide a home for a partner or spouse or childTransfer of property order. Mesher order.
Martin order.
Tenant in commonA joint owner of a property with a separate beneficial interest from the other owner(s)To allow a share in property to be sold or passed on by will.Beneficial owner in equal shares or unequal shares.
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What is a beneficial interest?

What is a beneficial interest – and other family law terminology What is a beneficial interest? Is a living together agreement the same as a cohabitation agreement? What is a property adjustment order? What does it all mean? Family law is complicated enough. So here’s a list of the most common phrases you may come …

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Nicola Williams is a Family Law Solicitor in the AFG Law Family Team at Cheadle Royal Business Park, Brooks Drive, Manchester, Cheadle SK8 3TD