Glossary of Terms

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The following is a useful glossary of family law related terms used in Scotland:



Is an order of the court, for example, to send documents to party so that they have the chance to be heard at court.


May have to vouch for if not “typical UK wedding” – e.g. “holiday marriages abroad etc” – specialised legal advice to be sought

Welfare Principle

This principle is applied by the Court when dealing with cases involving children. In applying the principle the court ascertains what is in the child’s best interests using a non interventionist approach where possible. The court has a duty to ascertain and take account of the child’s views where appropriate depending on the child’s age, maturity and understanding of their circumstances.


Is a person who may be asked to go to court to give evidence in a case. They may be an ordinary witness or an expert.


The shortened term for an “Initial Writ”. It is the document which commences divorce action or child-related actions in the Sheriff court.