Defended divorce proceedings
Defended divorce proceedings

The following Family guidance 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

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 file an answer to the petition:

  1. if they wish to defend the petition or to dispute any of the facts alleged in it, or

  2. if they are the respondent to a petition for a divorce in which the petitioner alleges five years' separation and wishes to oppose the grant of a decree on the ground that it will cause them grave financial or other hardship

The Law Society's Family Law Protocol recommends that the filing of answers and respondents' petitions (cross petitions) should be discouraged unless there are good reasons for doing