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

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

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

This Practice Note explains what documents must be filed with the petition when commencing proceedings for a divorce (an application for a matrimonial order) via a paper application. It explains what to do if the marriage certificate is not available. It also explains about divorce centres and the Courts and Tribunals Service Centre and  provides details about the online divorce service. It explains how to withdraw a petition before service.

The rules relating to divorce proceedings are to be found in Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, Pt 7 and the supplemental PD 7A.

Where the divorce is proceeding online FPR 2010, PD 41A will also apply. FPR 2010, PD 41A sets out the types of applications that may proceed by electronic means, the steps that may be taken by the parties and the relationship between FPR 2010, particularly FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, Pt 7 and FPR 2010, PD 7A and FPR 2010, PD 41A and the modifications to the procedure.

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

Where to start proceedings

Proceedings for divorce must be commenced in the Family Court. HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) had established a network of 11 centralised divorce centres within England and Wales to handle the issue of divorce petitions. However HMCTS announced in February 2020 that it

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