Understanding the Family Law Jargon: Names and Roles

Posted on by Grant Smith

Here at KJ Conroy, we understand the inherently volatile situation that sometimes comes pre-packaged with certain family-based legal proceedings. We appreciate how difficult these situations can be, and how high levels of stress or emotional tension can complicate matters and make it harder to think logically. When all this is going on, the last thing you want is to start trying to learn a new language, the jargon involved with family law. We want to try and make things a little easier for you though, and below you’ll find a list of the names and terms of the people involved in a family law dispute, giving you one less thing to have to work out when the time comes.


The petitioner is the person who begins proceedings for a divorce, the act of which is known as filing a petition.


The respondent is the person who the petition is ‘aimed’ at, the party directly involved that has not filed the petition themselves.


When adultery is the issue at hand, the co-respondent refers to the individual not involved in the relationship in question, and who took part in the adultery. This is largely due to the necessity of keeping third parties unnamed on official paperwork.

District Judge

Though this may seem an obvious one, with many denominations of Judge in the hierarchy it can be easy to get confused. The District Judge is the County Court judge, the person who will most commonly deal with this type of case and similar such proceedings.

Here at KJ Conroy, our team of expert lawyers are thoroughly versed in all aspects of family law, and not only that, we understand what a heavy burden some of these situations can be and adjust our service to suit. As such we deliver sound, logical and comprehensible advice that will allow you to make the right decision for you and your family. As a law firm in Birmingham who pride ourselves on the priority and care of our clients, give us a call on 0121 212 1575 today and find out how we can make your circumstances smoother.


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