At St Helens Law, we understand that filing for divorce can be one of the hardest decisions to make, which is why it is important to understand the procedures involved and how legal separation will affect you and your family on a long-term basis.

Before filing for divorce, you must establish substantial reasoning for separation by stating at least one of the following causes for the breakdown of your marriage:

  • Adultery
  • Irrational behaviour
  • Consented separation of up to 2 years
  • Dissented separation of up to 5 years

Filing for divorce

When filing for a divorce you must complete form D8 and submit it to a regional divorce centre within a family court. This should outline your main reasons for making a divorce petition, as well as explain any provisions you intend to implement regarding children and finances.

In order to officially file the petition, you must pay the court £550.00 or – in certain circumstances – you may be eligible for an exemption, depending on your income or certain benefits you receive.

To complete the divorce petition, you must also file your marriage certificate along with it – which must be presented in English.

Acknowledgement of service

Once you have completed the D8 form and it has been processed, a copy will then be sent to your spouse along with an acknowledgement of service form, which must be completed and filed within 7 days.

This form confirms that your spouse has received the divorce petition and it will also state whether they agree with the conditions of the divorce. They can also confirm their agreement with the petition or offer their reasons for contesting.

In some instances, your partner may not respond, and the only way to continue with divorce proceedings is by instructing a court bailiff to personally hand your spouse the petition, which will forcibly establish their acknowledgement.

Decree Nisi

After acknowledgement of service has been established, the next step is to apply for decree nisi – a confirmation of the court’s corroboration to proceed with the divorce.

Following this confirmation, the judge will announce a pronouncement date, which enables you to apply for the final decree, 43 days after the issued date.

Decree Absolute

This is the final process involved in divorce proceedings. It is also the most important step, as the decree absolute officially confirms your legalised divorce.

Once the decree absolute application is filed, it will take around two weeks for your marriage to be legally dissolved.

How St Helens Law can help

If you are considering filing for divorce or require advice regarding acknowledgement of service, our experienced divorce solicitors will provide you with all the support you need to ensure divorce proceedings are as stress-free as possible.

Request your free consultation today or for further information on our divorce services contact us via email or call us on 01744 454433.