Filing your own divorce papers – How it’s done

By March 11, 2015

A guide to the pitfalls of doing your own divorce

Is filing your own divorce papers worth it?

Doing your own divorce, which involves drafting your own divorce papers and filing them at your nearest regional divorce centre requires a lot of work and is hard to get right, which makes reading this guide to filing your own divorce a worthwhile step.

Of course, anyone can file their own divorce papers in the UK and indeed 25% of all divorces are now filed without a lawyer and proceed to file their own divorce papers.

However, ask any court manager what the proportion of divorce papers filed are 100% correct, then you will see that sometimes it does not pay to do things entirely on your own!

Indeed 40% of all divorce petitions filed by solicitors were found to be defective in a recent study, so what chance do you have, if the lawyers cannot even get it right?

Filing your own divorce involves;

  1. Finding a valid grounds for divorce
  2. File a D8 Divorce Petition
  3. Acknowledgement of Service (Your spouse agreeing to the divorce to proceed)
  4. Decree Nisi (The judge giving you the green light to proceed)
  5. Decree Absolute (The document that ends your marriage)

These 5 steps are a simple overview of the divorce procedure in England and Wales, which you must follow when obtaining a divorce.

It’s imperative that you understand each ground for divorce available to you so that you can make an informed decision about which one will make your divorce procedure as quick, easy and amicable as possible.

Common mistakes made by people on divorce petitions;

  1. Capitalising everything.
  2. Getting names wrong (yes, people really can’t spell their own names sometimes).
  3. Spelling mistakes.
  4. Incorrect place of marriage.
  5. Insufficient particulars.
  6. Incorrectly completed details of children and dates of birth.

This not only creates massive delays in any divorce case but can also cost you financially, as the court office will only make perfunctory checks when the papers first arrive at court.

If the divorce papers you file then get to the decree nisi stage, before a judge, this is where people can also be hit financially.

If a judge spots a mistake such as listed above, they will stop the process at the mistake and refuse the divorce, without even looking for any further errors.

In many cases, the judge will ask for the divorce papers to be amended in a certain way and there will be a court fee to pay for the amendment.

The problem is then, that if there were any other mistakes in the petition, the judge will ask for the petition to be amended again, incurring more fees and more delays.

What is the easiest way to divorce?

Doing your own divorce requires you to complete the divorce paperwork correctly before being granted the approval to divorce by a judge.

Therefore, the easiest way to divorce is to use 2 years separation as your ground for divorce, which requires your spouse to agree to the divorce and to have been separated for a period of 2 years.

The reason this ground is the easiest way to divorce is that it does not require a judgement from the judge as both parties agree to the divorce.

So, is filing my own divorce a good idea?

Doing your own divorce is only a good idea if your financial settlement and children arrangements between you and your soon to be ex-spouse have been agreed.

If you are not entering into a financial settlement, most commonly known as a consent order, or you have no children to make arrangements for, then doing your own divorce is a great option and is actually recommended.

We would recommend purchasing our DIY Divorce Service, which is just £59 and can provide you with your divorce papers fully completed and checked by experienced divorce experts.

This service has successfully been used by over 40,000 couples since 2003, which has helped couples save time, stress and a great deal of money.

You do not need to hire a solicitor to prepare your divorce papers, there are online services that will do it for you, but not all companies will check your petition before it goes out to you.


Quicke Divorce has been preparing divorce petitions since 2003 and all divorce petitions are checked before they are sent to ensure mistakes are not made.

With our DIY divorce service we guarantee that your divorce papers are correct and error free when we send them to you.

Using our DIY Divorce Service is the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective way to file your own divorce papers with the security of knowing that there are no errors or potential additional costs coming your way.

DIY Divorce Service – Just £59

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