1 Decide the reason for divorce
In English law, you must cite one of five reasons for divorce in support of your claim in your divorce petition that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. These are adultery, unreasonable behaviour, separation – two years, separation – five years and desertion (very rarely used).
2 Complete a divorce petition
If it’s you who is starting divorce proceedings you are known as the ‘petitioner.’ Your spouse is the ‘respondent’. You need to download and fill in a divorce petition which is basically an application for divorce. You can download this here.
3 Submit the petition
Once the form is completed you need to supply your original marriage certificate or get an official copy – you can order one here – your own copies will not be accepted. It is at this stage payment of the court fee is required (currently £550).
You can submit your petition in two ways: Online www.gov.uk/apply-for-divorce By post: Send 3 copies of the form to your nearest divorce centre. Find yours here
The Court will send you a copy back, one to your spouse and keep a copy on file. Send 4 copies if you have named someone who has committed adultery with your spouse.