The Divorce Process

The divorce process can be intimidating if it is not properly discussed and fully understood from the outset. Our trained divorce negotiators will run through this with you. We will break down the divorce process into simple steps for you. We will ensure you understand what is expected during each stage of the process. Using Divorce Negotiator to hand the process for you not only makes the process seem far smoother. It can make it easy to handle but it also speeds up the process, as you know what to expect next and can be prepared. A faster process you will also save you costs.  Click here for a detailed guide to getting a divorce

4 Steps of the divorce process

There are 4 main steps to get a divorce:

Divorce Process Step 1 – Divorce petition

You have to file a divorce petition with the court and show the reasons why you want the marriage to end. The petition is the document which starts the divorce process. The person who issues the divorce petition is called the petitioner, the other partner is called the respondent.

The petition which will set out details of the marriage. It includes when and where you were married. It also includes the reasons that you are relying on to prove your marriage has broken down irretrievably (permanently). You can only rely on one of the following 5 reasons:

  1. Adultery
  2. Unreasonable Behaviour
  3. Desertion
  4. You have lived apart for more than 2 years
  5. You have lived apart for at least 5 years

Once you have selected one reason, you will need to give further supporting information to explain why it applies in your case. For example, if you are getting divorced on the basis of unreasonable behaviour, you will need to include examples of your spouse’s behaviour which affected you the most, and the most recent incidents that caused the marriage to break down.

Divorce Process Step 2 – Petition sent to the respondent

Your ex-partner needs to respond to the petition with an Acknowledgement of Service.  If your ex-partner refuses to return the Acknowledgement of Service, then the process is NOT halted.  You will need to go through an additional process to arrange personal service of the documents. Divorce Negotiator has helped many clients to get their divorce moving, in a situation where their spouse would not sign the paperwork and send it back to the court. What application needs to be made depends on your circumstances. If you are stuck on this issue, give us a call on 0800 177 7702.

Divorce Process Step 3 – Apply for Decree Nisi

You’ll be granted a Decree Nisi if your ex-partner doesn’t defend your reasons for a divorce. If they do defend, it then you can still apply for a decree nisi, but you’ll have to go to a court hearing to discuss the case.

At this point, there is a 6 week and 1 day period before the Decree Absolute can be applied for.  This is a cooling off period, to ensure you definitely want to divorce.  It is also a time to arrange the Consent Order.  The court will expect to see that the division of assets is fair, and an agreement for the care of any children is in place.

Divorce Process Step 4 – Apply for Decree Absolute

The Decree Absolute will legally end your marriage and allow you to remarry.

It is not advisable to make arrangements to re-marry before you have the Decree Absolute, as delays at the court or with your ex-partner could extend the process.

Get your divorce paperwork approved

60% of self-filed divorce papers are rejected by the courts.  To ensure you get your divorce paperwork approved first time by the judge, you need to ensure that all the forms are completed correctly. Here are some tips to improve the chances of your paperwork getting approved:

  • Ensure you send the original copy of your marriage certificate when you send your divorce petition to the court.
  • Ensure you enter the names exactly as they appear on the marriage certificate.
  • Check the details of the marriage you have entered are correct, e.g. date and place.
  • Check the addresses you entered are current and correct.
  • No payment is received.  This used to be a cheque, but now you can send a letter with details of who to phone to take payment.  The court will then phone the number provided.

Click here for common reasons that paperwork gets rejected.

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The Simple Divorce Process Guide

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Simple Divorce Process Guide

The Divorce Process was last modified: August 14th, 2018 by Carol Sullivan

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