How to get a divorce

  • If you are the person starting divorce proceedings, you are the petitioner
  • If divorce proceedings have been started by someone else, you are the respondent

The following steps apply to petitioners:

  1. File the divorce petition. This means completing a form, which you can get from the Gov.uk website or your local county court, and handing it in to your local divorce centre with your marriage certificate (or a certified copy of it) and the court fee of £550 (at time of this publication). They will send this and some other forms to your ex, and let you know when he/she has received them.
  2. Wait for a response. This will mean your ex filling in the acknowledgement of service form, (which they will receive with the divorce petition). They have to return this to the divorce centre within eight days.
  3. When step two has happened you need to fill out an application for a decree nisi and a statement form. There are five different statement forms to choose from, (depending on your reasons for wanting a divorce), but you should only fill out one. Send the decree nisi application, the statement form and your ex’s response to the divorce petition back to the divorce centre.
  4. A judge will review your case and if everything is as it should be you will receive a letter that tells you the date and time you will be granted a decree nisi.
  5. 43 days after you are granted a decree nisi you can apply for a decree absolute, which means filling out a ‘notice of application for decree nisi to be made absolute’ form and sending it to the divorce centre.
  6. The judge will review your case and if everything is in order you will be sent a decree absolute, which legally ends your marriage and means you are divorced.

However… if there are any issues or complications at all, you cannot get a ‘quickie divorce’ (which is what the above process is known as).

The issue could be as small as your ex defending the divorce or failing to respond, or as large as how your finances are divided and children are cared for.

If you want to make a legally binding agreement regarding these matters, it has to be done before you can get a decree absolute.

For anything except a quickie divorce, Britton and Time can help you both move forward.

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