“Breaking up can turn your
world upside down”
If your marriage has irretrievably broken down and you wish to Divorce your spouse, you will need to follow the Divorce procedure below to legally end your marriage.
Currently, in the UK, there is officially only one ‘ground’ for Divorce, which is that your marriage has irretrievably broken down.
To file for a Divorce you must prove this by establishing one of the five following factors: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, separation of two years with consent or separation of five years (no consent required).
The first step for any Divorce is to prepare a Divorce Petition, which is completed by the Petitioner and filed with a regional divorce centre.
The Divorce Petition must detail the reasons why your marriage has broken down.
When you submit your Divorce Petition you will need to provide the court with your marriage certificate and pay the court fee of £550, unless you are on a low income or receive certain benefits, as you may be entitled to court fee remission.
The second step of the Divorce proceedings involves the court issuing the Divorce Petition by allocating a dedicated case number and sending a copy of the Petition to your spouse (known as the Respondent) with an Acknowledgement of Service form that they need to complete and return within seven days.
The Acknowledgement of Service form confirms to the court that; the Respondent has received the Divorce papers and asks them to confirm whether they object to the Petition.
Once the Respondent has sent back the Acknowledgement of Service form to the court, the Petitioner can then apply for the Decree Nisi.
Decree Nisi is an order made by the court confirming that the Petitioner is entitled to a Divorce and giving a date on which the Decree Nisi will be “pronounced”, unless good reason not to do so is produced.
The final step, of the Divorce process is for the Petitioner to apply for Decree Absolute. This can be applied for six weeks and one day after the date of Decree Nisi, the so-called “cooling off period”. Decree Absolute is the order that legally and formally ends your marriage.