A summary of the steps involved in the Divorce process.

1. Petitioner sends to court the divorce Petition prepared on the basis of one or more of five facts:-
  1. Adultery.
  2. Unreasonable behaviour.
  3. Desertion.
  4. 2 years separation with Respondent’s consent.
  5. 5 years separation.
  • Marriage certificate.
  • Certificate of Reconciliation.
  • Statements of Arrangements for children.
  • Court fee (currently £340).
N.B. Ideally the Petitioner will have sent drafts of the Petition and the Statement of Arrangements to the Respondent beforehand for his/her agreement.

  • Didn't it used to be called 'custody' and 'access'? What are residence orders and contact orders?
  • Can we have a shared residence order?
  • What factors do the solicitors/Judge apply in dealing with our case?

2. 7 working days after receipt by the Respondent of the petition, he/she must return the completed Acknowledgement of Service to the court.

3. Upon receipt by the Petitioner of a copy of the Acknowledgment of Service, the Petitioner then swears the Affidavit in support of Petition and sends this to the court together with the Application for Directions for Trial.

4. Decree Nisi is pronounced by the court if the Judge is satisfied with all the divorce papers.

5. If financial matters are agreed, the Decree Nisi gives the court the power to make a financial order and the parties can lodge a draft Consent Order at court setting out their agreed financial settlement together with various ancillary papers.

6. Not less than 6 weeks and 1 day after Decree Nisi, the Petitioner may submit the Application for Decree Nisi to be made Absolute.

7. Decree Absolute is granted and sent to both parties.

The entire process lasts 4 – 6 months from the Petition to Decree Absolute. It will take longer if, for instance, financial matters still need to be resolved or the Respondent does not return the Acknowledgement of Service.

Areas of Family Law Work click on the relevant link below for more information: