Filing divorce papers used to be considered a black art that could only be done by Family law solicitors. However, things have changed in recent years making it a lot simpler to do yourself. This does assume you have reasonable skills in form filling. If you feel your divorce is not straightforward, then legal advice should be sought. Our Managed Divorce Service can accommodate the most complicated of divorces. DIY Divorce is very much in the news, as the task is quite simple, and can save a lot of money.
- Both parties need to be in agreement with the divorce
- The address of both parties must be known to each other
- The grounds for divorce need to be agreed prior to filing for divorce (See Grounds for Divorce for more information)
- You have a certified copy of your marriage certificate
- You have decided who is the Petitioner and who is the Respondent
Guide to filing divorce papers
The Petitioner, leads the process, by filing a D8 Divorce Petition Form with the court. The names and addresses of both parties are required, along with the marriage certificate.
The court will contact you to take a payment of £550. This fee can be less if you are on a low income or on benefits. See the Court Fee Exemption Calculator for more information).
The court will then send copies of the petition to you, your spouse and the adulterer (if named when using Adultery as the Grounds for Divorce).
The respondent will then need to acknowledge the receipt, by completing and returning the D10 Acknowledgment of Service back to the court.
A signed copy will be sent to the petitioner when received by the court.
The petitioner will now need to send a D80 Application for Decree Nisi and a D84 Statement in Support. The judge will assess the application and supporting documents. If there is sufficient evidence that the marriage has broken down, he will grant the Decree Nisi, even if one party wishes to defend the divorce. If there is insufficient evidence, then the Decree Nisi will be refused.
A Decree Nisi is a document that says that the court doesn’t see any reason why you can’t divorce. It does NOT mean you are divorced yet.
After the Decree Nisi has been granted, you’ll have to wait 43 days (6 weeks and 1 day) before you can apply for a ‘Decree Absolute’ to end the marriage.
The petitioner should then be able to apply for a Decree Absolute using a D36 Application for A Decree Nisi be made into a Decree Absolute.
Once the Decree Absolute has been returned to you, your divorce is complete, and you will be able to remarry if you wish.