Filing the divorce petition and supporting documents
Filing the divorce petition and supporting documents

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

  • Filing the divorce petition and supporting documents
  • Divorce centres
  • The marriage certificate
  • Documents to be filed
  • Online divorce service
  • Notice of proceedings
  • Acknowledgement of service
  • Withdrawal before service

Proceedings for a matrimonial order (divorce proceedings) are commenced by an application for a matrimonial order (a petition).

Note that with effect from 7 August 2017, the Family Procedure (Amendment No 2) Rules 2017, SI 2017/741 amend FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, Pt 17, to require a statement of truth to be included in an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order, or an answer to such an application (with transitional provisions). The new Form D8 must be used from 4 September 2017.

See Practice Note: Commencing divorce proceedings and drafting the petition.

Divorce centres

The petition must be presented to the Family Court. HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has established a network of 11 centralised divorce centres within England and Wales to handle the issue of divorce petitions. District judges and legal advisers/justices' clerks will be on site at all of the divorce centres. District judges at the divorce centres will handle any contested applications, annulments and judicial separation applications. They will also supervise legal advisers/justices' clerks.

The majority of uncontested decree nisi applications will be considered by legal advisers/justices' clerks (rather than district judges) at divorce centres. The intention is to free up judicial time for other work, reduce processing delays and inconsistency and minimise the possibility of fraud.

The Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary and Functions of Staff) Act 2018 includes provision to