|An excerpt from Lawpack's Separation & DIY Divorce Kit.|
Getting a divorce in England & Wales isn't a complicated procedure. Read our seven simple steps to how you can apply for divorce through the courts.
You need your marriage certificate because you have to file it at court when you start your divorce petition. If you've lost your marriage certificate, you can easily obtain a certified copy from the General Register Office.
If you were married outside of England and Wales, you need to get a certified copy of your marriage certificate from the country where you were married.
You can start your divorce either in the Principal Registry in London, or any divorce County court.
While you can file your divorce petition in any divorce County court, it's best to choose a court most convenient to where you live because you may need to make several visits to court before the divorce is completed.
To file your divorce petition at court, you will need the following divorce form:
All the divorce forms you will need - and expert guidance on how to use them - can be found in Lawpack's Separation & DIY Divorce Kit.
If you need assistance in completing the forms, then you can use our DIY Divorce service who will complete them for you. With our Managed Divorce Service they will complete them and also file them at court for you.
Once your divorce forms have been completed, your next step is to serve the divorce petition on your spouse.
Sending the divorce petition to your spouse is the responsibility of the court, but it's your responsibility to provide the court with the
You should think about sending a draft petition to your spouse and discussing the contents of the draft petition with them before issuing the petition to prevent any unnecessary unpleasantness.
The court will send you a Notice of Issue of Petition once the divorce petition has been sent to your spouse. This usually occurs about a week after you file your divorce petition in court.
The court will at the same time post a copy of your divorce petition to your spouse (and any named co-respondent) with an Acknowledgement of Service Form for your spouse to complete.
Your spouse, as Respondent, has seven days from the day the petition was received to return the Acknowledgement of Service.
Once your petition is posted to your spouse, one of the following events may occur:
To apply for Decree Nisi you need to complete the following divorce forms:
The Forms D80A through D80E coincide with the five facts for divorce. Be sure to use the Form D80 that correlates to the facts used to support the ground for your divorce petition.
Once your Forms D84 and D80 (and supporting documents) are completed, send them to the court stating that your divorce is undefended.
Your complete file will then be examined by the judge, who will consider whether your documents are satisfactorily completed, you have proper grounds for divorce and the proposed arrangements for your children are in their best interests.
Your Decree Nisi will be sent by the court to you, your spouse (and any co-respondent) shortly after the judge decides that you have satisfied the requirements for divorce. Pronouncement of your Decree Nisi usually takes about two months from the date you first file your Application for a Decree Nisi.
You're not divorced until your Decree Absolute is issued.
If you are the petitioner, you can apply for your Decree Absolute six weeks and one day after your Decree Nisi is granted. You cannot apply earlier.
If you are the Respondent, you cannot apply for the Decree Absolute until four-and-a-half months have passed after the pronouncement of the Decree Nisi.
It's easy to apply for your Decree Absolute, if you are the Petitioner. You simply need to file Form D36: a Notice of Application for Decree Nisi to be made Absolute with the court.
Finally, you will be sent by the court a Decree Absolute which officially ends your marriage.
Published on: April 24, 2012