Filing the judicial separation petition and supporting documents
Filing the judicial separation petition and supporting documents

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

  • Filing the judicial separation petition and supporting documents
  • Filing
  • Notice of proceedings
  • Acknowledgement of service

Filing

Proceedings for a matrimonial order (judicial separation proceedings) are begun by an application for a matrimonial order (a petition).

Proceedings for a matrimonial order (judicial separation proceedings) are commenced by an application for a matrimonial order (a petition). The form that is prescribed in Family Procedure Rules 2010, PD 5A (FPR 2010) is Form D8.

See Practice Note: Commencing judicial separation 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 petitions. District judges and legal advisers or 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 or justices' clerks.

The majority of uncontested decree nisi applications will be considered by legal advisers or 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 remove the post of ‘justices’ clerk’ from statute and substitute it with ‘designated officer of the court’. The Act allows court and