Defended divorce proceedings

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Defended divorce proceedings
  • Acknowledgement of service
  • Who can file an answer
  • Contents of answer
  • Time for filing and service of answer
  • Request for further information
  • Directions for trial
  • The children of the family
  • Notice to admit facts
  • Case management and evidence
  • More...

Defended divorce proceedings

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance has been issued, including by the President of the Family Division, regarding all proceedings in the Family Court in England and Wales during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and until further notice, which profoundly affects normal practice, including requirements for the majority of family hearings to be dealt with remotely. For details about the changes to court processes and procedures during this time, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID–19)—news and resources for family lawyers. In addition, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit provides easy access to news, practical guidance and Q&As from across a number of Practice Areas (subject to subscription).

Acknowledgement of service

The respondent must complete and return the acknowledgement of service within seven days beginning with the date on which the petition was served. That period of time is extended if the petition is being served out of the jurisdiction. The table in the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), Practice Direction (PD) 6B sets out the extended periods of time for each country.

Who can file an answer

A party wishing to defend divorce proceedings must file an answer. It must be in the prescribed form and within the required time limit which is within 21 days beginning with the date by which the acknowledgment of service is required to be filed. The answer must be in Form D8B.

A respondent or co-respondent must

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