What will YOU NEED ?
1. A certified copy of your marriage certificate – not a photocopy.
2. Proof of residence for the required period.
3. Birth certificates for any children regardless of their age.
4. Your full name and address.
5. Your wife’s or husband’s full name and address.
6. If you wish to name a third party in the case of adultery, then you will need hisor her name and address.
How do you START ?
You will need three copies of FORM D8 [ Divorce Petition ] – see FORMS
If children are involved, you will need three copies of FORM D8A [ Statement of Arrangement for the children ]
One copy is for you ; the court ; your husband / wife.
Where there is a named third party in the case of adultery they also need a copy of FORM D8 [ Divorce Petition ]
There are notes to help you fill in FORM D8.
Citizens Advice [ formerly known as - Citizens Advice Bureau] Bureau will help as will a solicitor. If you receive Legal Help under the Community Legal Service Fund you may not have to pay.
These forms are sent or handed in to the court with the relevant fee if payable.
You will receive FORM D9H [ Notice of Issue of Petition ]
This will give you your case number which has to be quoted on any correspondence and is your receipt for any fee that had to be paid.
It will also tell you when your petition was sent to the other party[ the respondent and any co-respondent].
It will also tell you what to do if the respondent(s) do not reply.
The court will post a copy of your petition with FORM D 10 [acknowledgement of service] with a copy of FORM D8A [statement of arrangement for children] to:-
The respondent .
Any named co-respondent.
They have eight days from the day after they received the petition to return FORM D10 [the acknowledgment of service]
They will have longer if they live outside of England or Wales.
The court will then send you a copy of their returned FORM D 10.
If the address you gave for the respondent or co-respondent was wrong or has changed, the Post Office will return them.The court will send FORM D9A [notice of non-service of petition]
It is then up to you to find the new address(s) and to write to the court who will post your petition and other forms to the new address.
They may then do one of three things:-
Not return the FORM D 10 to the court
Return FORM D 10 to the court contesting the petition or jurisdiction of the court.
Make their own proposals on a FORM D8A.
Return FORM D 10 to court agreeing with the petition. Make their own proposals on FORM D8A
On receipt of the completed FORM D 10
The court will send you a copy with leaflet D186 [“The respondent has replied to my petition - what do I do next?”] and the court will tell you what to do next.
If FORM D 10 is not returned in eight days you request and fill two copies of FORM D 89 [request for bailiff service] and fees. Include a photo or description of each party to be served.
The court bailiff will deliver the petition and other documents to them personally.
On receipt of FORM D 10 [acknowledgement of service]:
Check the answer to ‘Do you intend to defend the case?’
If the answer is ‘NO’ you can ask the court:-
Have you got grounds for a divorce ?
Are the arrangements you proposed for any children satisfactory?
This is called ‘Applying for directions for trial’ FORM D84 – [see below “If you do not receive a copy of their defence [answer]
If in response
to – ‘Do you agree with the statement of the petitioner as to the grounds of jurisdiction set out in the petition?’ – they say ‘NO’ then the court will inform you if you have to go to court to speak with the judge.
In this case it would be wise to seek the advice of a solicitor.
If they say they INTEND TO DEFEND the case.
Wait for a copy of their defence [answer].
This must be received by the court within 21 days after the 7 working days time limit allowed for giving notice of ‘intention to defend’ has expired.
Working days do not include weekends ; Bank holidays ; Christmas Day ; Good Friday.
That’s 29 days + any bank holidays after they say they received your petition – FORM D8.
If and when you receive a copy of the respondent’s or co-respondent’s ‘answer’ you should see a solicitor.
If YOU DO NOT RECEIVE a copy of THEIR DEFENCE [answer] within this time period.
You are free to apply for directions for trial FORM D 84 and complete FORM D 80 [affidavit of evidence]. There are 5 different D80 Forms which relate to the 5 different grounds for divorce. So make sure you fill out the correct one.
FORM D10 completed and signed by the respondent should show all of these things and should be attached [exhibited] to FORM D80 .
The court will no doubt help you calculate the date you may apply for directions for trial. This is a minimum of 9 days after the respondent or co-respondent say they have received your petition.
Take or send them to the court office. This stage is called “Entering your case in the special procedure list”.
These papers will be attached to your case file and passed to the judge, who will look at your case file and consider the evidence. Then he willdecide if he can grant you a divorce.
If children are involved he will consider your FORM D8A [statement of arrangements for the children] and the respondent’s’ FORM D10 [Acknowledgement of service].
If THE JUDGE ACCEPTS YOUR APPLICATION:
You and the respondent and any co-respondent, will receive FORM D84A [Certificate of Entitlement to a decree]
This will tell you the time and date when your divorce will be granted [Pronouncing the Decree Nisi]. This is NOT the end: you have to wait for the ‘Decree Absolute’ before you are free to remarry.
Where no children of the family are involved, FORM D84A with FORM D84B [Notice of satisfaction with the arrangements for the children] will be received. The latter just confirms there are no children involved.
If YOUR APPLICATION IS REFUSED.
You will receive FORM D79 [Notice of refusal of Judge’s certificate].
This will inform you why your case is not in order. No doubt the judge will require additional information which he will list.
If he feels your case cannot be decided on the information provided, he may require your case to be removed from the special procedures list and placed in the ‘undefended list’. In this case there will be a hearing which you will have to attend.
In this case you would be well advised to see a solicitor.
When the Judge has pronounced your “Decree Nisi”, the court will send you; the respondent; any co-respondent,
FORM D29 [decree nisi]. There are five versions of FORM D29 which relate to the five grounds for divorce. So do not think that yours is not the same as your friends’ and that there has been a mistake.
FORM D29 informs you that IT IS NOT THE FINAL DECREE. It also informs you when you can apply for the Decree Absolute.
You will be sent FORM D61 [order supplementary to decree nisi] only if you asked the respondent or co-respondent to pay your costs of divorce. Copies will be sent to the other party(ies)
Where there are children of the family the court will send you FORM D84B which informs you the judge has decided that the Decree Absolute need not be held up on account of the children.
If you receive FORM D66 you cannot have your Decree Absolute. FORM D84C will tell you what will happen next and what to do.
The first date you can apply for your Decree Absolute is six weeks and one day after the date of yourDecree Nisiwas pronounced.
If the petitioner has not applied for theDecree Absolutethen the respondent is free to apply after – three months + six weeks and one day after THE PRONOUNCEMENT of Decree Nisi.
If there is a delay of twelve months before an application for the Decree Absolute is made then the court will want to know at the time of the application:-
Reason(s) for the delay.
A statement saying if the parties, since the Decree Nisi, have or have not lived together. If they have, all dates will have to be shown.
A statement saying if the wife has given birth since the Decree Nisi and if they are considered a child of the family.
You should also ask the court if you need to provide an affidavit.
Depending on your circumstances you may have to pay a fee.
On receipt of your Decree Nisi you can then fill in FORM D36 which you submit to the court six weeks and a day after the date your Decree Nisi was pronounced.
When the court receive it they will check your file to confirm :-
Where there are children involved they are satisfied with the arrangements for them.
Even if they are not satisfied with the arrangements it is possible there are no exceptional circumstances affecting the Decree Absolute.
Six weeks have passed since the Decree Nisi was pronounced.
There is no other reason prohibiting the issue of the Decree Absolute.
Providing everything is in order the court will send FORM D37 [Decree Absolute] to you ; the respondent ; any co-respondent.
Receipt of FORM D37 marks the end of what is recognised as one of the most emotional and traumatic experiences you will experience in your life. It means you are free to remarry.
The orders a court can make:-
Residence – who the children should live with.
Contact – who the children can have contact with.
Prohibited steps – among other things it can prohibit a child frombeing taken abroad.
Specific issues – it can cover a child’s health, schooling etc.
Emergency protection orders.