Undefended divorce proceedings

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

  • Undefended divorce proceedings
  • Online divorce
  • What is an undefended case?
  • The procedure for undefended cases
  • Application for decree nisi
  • Application for decree nisi—respondent
  • Consideration of costs
  • Consideration of the arrangements for the children of the family
  • Consideration of agreement as to financial provision
  • Pronouncement of decree

Undefended divorce proceedings

Online divorce

On 6 May 2018 the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) launched its online divorce service nationwide for the public acting as litigants in person. In December 2019 HMCTS announced in a letter that from 16 December 2019 all legal professionals are able to make an application for a divorce online and progress through to decree absolute on behalf of their clients.

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 (by electronic means) 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.

Where a petition has been issued using the online service, FPR 2010, PD 41A, paras 13.1–14.6 set out the procedure for applying for decree nisi.

For details regarding how to proceed using the online divorce service see Practice Note: Online divorce procedure.

This Practice Note sets out the procedure for a divorce proceeding by non-electronic means and under the provisions of FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, Pt 7.

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