Whilst the particulars of each divorce will vary, the divorce procedure in England and Wales follows a process which starts with the filing of a divorce petition, otherwise known as D8 form.
The form is filled out by one spouse (the petitioner) and is filed at Court, and then sent by the Court to the other (the respondent).
Your solicitor will draft, prepare and lodge the necessary paperwork with the Court.
It is at this stage that payment of the court fee is required (currently £550). You can pay by debit or credit card (the divorce centre will call you to take payment) or by cheque – made payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service.’
What happens next to your petition?
Your application will be checked by the court and, if it’s completed correctly, you will be sent a notice that your application has been issued, a copy of your application and a case number.
A copy of the application will be served on your spouse who will have seven days to respond to say if they intend to defend the divorce.
If your ex-partner says in a form they send to the court called the acknowledgment of service form that they do not wish to defend the divorce petition, then you can apply for a decree nisi.
This is the interim decree of divorce and basically means the court sees no reason why you cannot divorce.
Once the decree nisi has been pronounced, you can apply after six weeks and one day to have the decree absolute granted. This is the formal court document that legally dissolves your marriage.
For a more detailed look at process and paperwork, see our guide on how to get Divorced
However, very few divorce cases involve only bringing the marriage to an end. Usually, there are arrangements to sort out for the children of the family and the finances including property, investments, businesses, pensions and income.
To separate your finances, you must reach a financial settlement; a legally binding decision on how assets and wealth will be split now the marriage has ended.
Arrangements for children will need to be made if required, and these are also dealt with separately to the divorce.