Q&As

If a respondent to a divorce petition relying on unreasonable behaviour has filed an acknowledgment of service accepting the divorce, are they able to submit an answer within the 21-day deadline if they later decide to defend the divorce?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 29/01/2018

The following Family Q&A produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If a respondent to a divorce petition relying on unreasonable behaviour has filed an acknowledgment of service accepting the divorce, are they able to submit an answer within the 21-day deadline if they later decide to defend the divorce?

The procedural provisions relating to applications for a decree of divorce are contained within Part 7 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955. The application is started by issuing of Form D8. FPR 2010, PD 7A sets out detailed provisions as to the content of the application. FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 7.8 provides that the application must be served on the respondent, accompanied by a form for acknowledging service, a notice of proceedings, and where applicable, a copy of the statement of arrangements for children.

Within seven days of receipt of the application, the respondent must file an acknowledgment of service (FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 7.12(1)). Among other things, the acknowledgment of service must indicate whether or not the respondent intends to defend the case (FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 7.12(3)(c)). Where a respondent wishes to defend the case, an answer must be served within 21 days beginning with the date by which the acknowledgment of s

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