What Are the Steps When Filing for Divorce in the UK?

This is a collaborative post

It isn’t true that half of all first marriages and most second marriages end in divorce; those often-cited stats are the result of marriage rates dropping and divorce rates rising a few decades ago before stabilizing. However, a large minority of them do, which is why many people wonder what the divorce process is. Here are the exact steps when filing for divorce in the U.K.

divorce proceedings

File the Divorce Petition

The first step to the divorce process is to file a divorce petition, called the D8 form, with either the divorce county court or principal registry in London. Pick the court most convenient to you, since you will need to visit the court several more times. This is the same as getting a divorce in Alaska or elsewhere.

The D8 is the main document in any divorce proceeding and must be properly filled out to avoid problems with the rest of the process. You’ll need a copy of your marriage certificate for this step in the process.
It may all be a bit overwhelming when you start thinking about starting the divorce process. An experienced family law specialist such as a member of the team at https://www.petersmay.com/ can help you through all aspects of the divorce proceedings so do not be afraid to reach out to a local lawyer if you need assistance navigating a divorce.

Once you have completed the divorce petition, you’ll need to give your spouse a copy of the divorce petition. A notice of issue of petition will be sent to your spouse typically within a week of filing the D8.

Acknowledgement of Service

The acknowledgement of service occurs when the court sends a copy of the divorce petition to your soon-to-be-ex-spouse with an acknowledgement it has been received. It asks if you’ve received the divorce petition, does that person agree with the grounds for divorce, do you intend to defend the case, and have you received a statement of arrangements for the children. Someone answering these questions incorrectly can delay the divorce proceedings. However, refusing to fill out the form will not stop the divorce. If they don’t send it in, a second acknowledgement of service will be sent to them. If it fails to be returned a second time, a court bailiff or another representative will be sent to personally deliver it.

If the person wants to contest the divorce, the proper response is to say yes to the question do you intend to defend the divorce. Just answering yes doesn’t contest the divorce. After answering yes at this stage, an “Answer” form must be submitted.

If you need advice on how to respond to the form, contact one of the divorce solicitors in London.


Get the Forms for the Decree Nisi

A decree nisi is a first divorce decree. It means the court doesn’t see a reason you cannot divorce. This document mattered more when divorces were much harder to obtain than today. For this step, you need to fill out both a form D84, application for decree nisi, and form D80A-E.

Get the Forms for the Decree Absolute

A decree absolute is the final divorce decree. You must wait at least a month and a half after the decree nisi before you can apply for the decree absolute. The idea is that having several weeks to think about it will give both parties time to reconsider the divorce. When the decree absolute is issued, your divorce is officially ended.

Knowing the complete procedure for divorces is essential if you want to be prepared for the road ahead. Make sure that you go over the entire procedure with your lawyer so you know exactly what to expect and what will be expected of you.

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