How to File for Divorce | 5 Simple Steps
LAST UPDATED ON SEPTEMBER 25TH, 2019
Learn how to file for divorce in 5 simple steps
More people each year are looking to save time, stress and money on their divorce, but they don’t quite know how to file for divorce without turning to a solicitor.
This article is designed to help you navigate your way through the process of divorce, step-by-step without hiring a solicitor, which can save you hundreds of pounds.
Not only does this post outline the divorce process and explain how to file for divorce in more difficult situations, but it also shows how you can save over £750 on the cost of your divorce.
Divorce can seem like such a minefield, but we have narrowed down the entire divorce process into 5 simple steps, making it easier for you to understand.
Here’s how to file for divorce in the UK;
- File a D8 Divorce petition with the courts
- Respondent files the acknowledgement of service
- Application for a Decree Nisi
- Application for a Decree Absolute
- Decree Absolute granted (You are now divorced)
Before filing for a divorce, it’s important that you understand how each stage of the divorce procedure works.
This article will also explain where and how you can file for divorce if your situation is more complicated than most.
Where do I file for divorce?
To file for divorce you have to first complete a D8 divorce petition form and file it at your local court.
To find a D8 divorce petition form you can either go to your local courthouse or you can obtain them online on the Gov website.
This is of course if you do not wish to use a solicitor or divorce firm- if using a professional service they will provide you with all of the forms you need and assist you with filling them out.
Once you have done this you will then have to send it to your local court to be approved and sent to the respondent for acknowledgement.
Check out our detailed blog post on Where to obtain a D8 divorce petition if you would like some more information.
How long does it take to file for divorce?
The length of a divorce process is different for everyone. If your divorce is amicable and you use either an online divorce provider or a high street solicitor then it should take on average 5-6 months.
This time frame expands if your divorce is more complex or if you choose to file for divorce yourself. The easiest and quickest way to get divorced is by using a managed divorce package and keeping the line of communication open between you and your spouse.
How to file for divorce if you do not know your spouses’ address?
In some cases, a spouse may have left the household a long time ago and communication may have severed.
You may now feel the time has now come to file for divorce. Firstly, don’t worry this is very common and there is a way around it.
In most cases, the only way to do this in England & Wales is to either use the grounds of desertion after 2 years or 5 years separation.
However, unlike many believe this does not simply mean you can file for divorce and for it to be approved.
You still have to file all the correct legal document and you still have to serve the paper to someone, after all, anyone could say they have been separated for 5 years or more.
To get a divorce where the spouse is missing requires you to do everything in your power to find them.
You have to show you have attempted to serve the divorce petition. This includes asking relatives or friends for an address, or for them to pass the papers to the spouse if they were served to their address.
Alternatively, if you do not want to go down that route you would have to ask the court for an order that a government agency like HMRC that holds records disclose to the court any address they have on file for the spouse.
How to file for divorce if your spouse will not agree?
Divorce can be so difficult for everyone involved. It may come as a shock to some; others may not want to accept that their marriage is over. If you are filing for a fault-based divorce, then the respondent has 3 options:
- Defend the divorce petition
- Ignore the divorce petition
- Consent to the divorce.
Defending a divorce petition is only an option if your spouse has a lot of money.
No legal aid is offered to defend a divorce and the costs mount up very quickly. Many who do not agree to the divorce opt for ignoring the divorce petition.
However, you can still proceed with the divorce as long as you can prove they have received it.
This could be done by getting someone to personally serve the petition. To find out what this option involves and how we can help call us now on 01793 384 032 for free professional advice.
How can we help?
We know it’s an extremely stressful process, the forms can be very difficult and confusing at times and we know that many have limited time where they are able to focus on completing the forms required.
We are also there to help if your divorce is more complex than the average case.
If this is the case for you its best to contact us personally so we can offer you the best advice tailored to your situation.
We aim to save you over £750 when using our service oppose to a solicitor.
Divorce does not need to take over your life; you can contact us by phone, email or live chat whenever you are able to.