Divorce Procedure – A Guide to the Divorce Procedure from Start
to FinnishThere are many different parts in the divorce procedure that must be done
in a set sequence in order for it to be completed within a reasonable time frame. If any part of the
procedure is not completed or is held up it could set your divorce back many months. With the number of
divorces on the increase it is important to understand each step of the procedure to insure that your divorce
does not drag on for far longer than is absolutely necessary.
According to most divorce solicitors the first step in the divorce procedure is to be able to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that you have a good
reason to get divorced. According to English law in order to obtain a divorce you must be able to prove that
your marriage is irreconcilable.
Thats why couples should go through a divorce cooling off period for about three months period
before getting divorced.
This means that you have to be able to show that your spouse has committed adultery or has
continuously behaved in a way that makes it impossible for you to continue to live with them. You can also get a
divorce if you have lived apart for at least two years if they consent to the divorce or five years if they do not
The Divorce Petition
Next you will need to file a Divorce Petition with your local county court. The petition states
all of the pertinent information such as the name of the petitioner (that's you) and the respondent (your spouse)
as well as where each of your lives and any other personal information. The petition also covers the reason for the
divorce and may have ancillary papers that state what kind of financial settlements are required. If you have any
children under the age of 18 you will also need to file a Statement of Arrangements for the Children.
You can either use divorce
solicitors to help your draw up the paperwork, you can get copies from you local court or you can
download it from one of the many online services that offer complete divorce packages. After all of the paperwork
has been filled out and approved by both parties the next step is to file them with the court along with your
original marriage license and pay the fees which are currently (2009) around £350.
The next step in the divorce procedure is the Court will issue the Divorce
Petition and send copies of all paperwork to your spouse along with an Acknowledgement of Service of the Divorce
Petition which they must sign and return to the court. At this point your solicitor will help you prepare an
affidavit in support of the Petition which is a sworn statement that everything you said on the petition is
All of this is sent to the Judge to consider your petition.If the judge is satisfied that you
have a good reason to get divorced he will issue a Decree Nisi which is the first step of the divorce. After you
have the Decree Nisi you will have to wait a further six weeks before you can apply for the Decree Absolute using
yet another form and paying the appropriate fees. Once you receive the Decree Absolute your divorce is final and