Divorce Process Explained in 5 Steps

Learn the ins and outs of the divorce procedure in England and Wales. Follow this exact process to file for divorce without hiring a solicitor and save yourself over £750.

We’ve outlined the 5 simple steps involved in a divorce that you can follow yourself. The most important part of the divorce process is the completion and filing of the D8 divorce petition.

Even if you decide to go through a solicitor, the actual steps involved in the divorce procedure are exactly the same.

However, we collect the information we need to draft your divorce papers online via your personal case area, whereas solicitors will either require you to visit their offices or go back and forth via email.

The divorce procedure can be completed without the assistance of solicitors, which could save you over £750 on the cost of your divorce.

Stages of Divorce from Start-to-Finish

We’ve summarised the divorce process in England and Wales into 5 simple steps, which you can follow to obtain a divorce.

We will walk you through the entire process from completing and filing the divorce petition to applying for and receiving your decree absolute.

  1. Grounds For Divorce
  2. Filing For Divorce (Submit Divorce Petition)
  3. Acknowledgement of Service
  4. Application for Decree Nisi
  5. Application for Decree Absolute

Clicking the links above will skip you to the exact stage of the divorce process you are looking to get information for.

First Steps (Residence & Eligibility)

In order to start divorce proceedings you must satisfy certain conditions around residence and marriage.

  1. You must have been married for 1 year
  2. You must see England or Wales as your permanent home (or be domiciled in these countries if you live abroad)

You must be in agreement (or your spouse needs to be likely to agree) if you wish to use an online divorce or file the divorce yourself as otherwise you’ll require the assistance of a solicitor.

Before thinking of divorce proceedings you should understand the D8 divorce petition form, so that you can get all of the documents and information required ready.

Before thinking of divorce proceedings you should seek to understand the D8 divorce petition form, so that you can get all of the documents and information required ready for completion.

Step 1 – Grounds For Divorce

We’ve covered the grounds for divorce in more detail; this is just an overview of the 5 reasons available to prove to the judge that your divorce has irretrievably broken down.

If you are unsure on which ground for divorce is the most suitable for your situation or whether choosing a certain ground will reduce the acrimony and stress, simply call us on 01793 384 032 or email us for information.

  1. Adultery – (This Is where your spouse cheats on you with a member of the opposite sex).
  2. Desertion – (rarely used – This is where your spouse has ‘deserted’ you for a continuous period of 2 years).
  3. 2 Years Separation With Consent – (If you have lived apart for a period of 2 years and both parties agree to the divorce).
  4. 5 Years Separation – No Consent – (No consent is required if you have lived apart for a period of 5 years).
  5. Unreasonable Behavior – (If your spouse has behaved in an unreasonable manner that has led to your marriage breaking down).

Step 2 – Filing For Divorce

Filing your D8 divorce petition with the court will start divorce proceedings.

You must ensure that all details have been completed correctly as any mistakes on this form can delay your divorce and end up costing you more money.

Most people will at this point attach the court fee payment, which is currently £550 (unless you are on a low-income or receive certain benefits). Without the court fee payment, the court will not start processing your divorce application.

When posting your divorce application to the court, you must include your original marriage certificate (or an official copy). Again, without this your divorce cannot go any further.

Step 3 – Acknowledgement of Service

Once the judge has processed your divorce petition and concluded that all requirements have been met, they will send a copy of the petition to your spouse.

An acknowledgement of service form will also be sent to your spouse, which they need to complete and send back to the court. (Usually within 7 days)

This form is your spouse’s (respondents) chance to see the reasons for divorce used and decide whether they wish to contest the divorce or not.

Before moving onto the next stage of the divorce process, the court will send you a copy of the acknowledgement of service from completed by your spouse.

Step 4 – Application for Decree Nisi

At this stage in your divorce you need to make a further application to the court, this step is called “application for Decree Nisi”.

This is where the judge effectively says that they cannot see any reasons why your divorce cannot proceed.

They will a decree nisi pronouncement date, which puts you one step away from obtaining a divorce.

Your decree nisi pronouncement date will let you know when you can apply for your decree absolute.

Step 5 – Decree Asbolute Application

You’ve got your decree nisi pronouncement date at this point. You must wait 6 weeks and one day from this date before applying for your decree absolute.

Applying for your decree absolute is the final stage of the divorce process.

Once you receive the decree absolute through the post from the court, your marriage has ended and you are officially divorced.

With Quicke Divorce, you can complete your divorce process within 3-4 months and save you over £750 on the cost of your divorce, compared to hiring solicitors.

At this stage of your divorce, you should be looking to implement financial orders and children arrangements, which we cover in more detail below.

Further Considerations Following Divorce

Aside from the actual divorce procedure, you need to consider dealing with any assets, finances or children involved within the marriage.

It’s important that you tie up any assets and finances within your marriage by obtaining a court order, such as consent order or clean break order.

If you are saying “we don’t have any assets or finances” or “we’ve separated them between ourselves”, it’s imperative that you put the agreement or lack of agreement into a legally binding court order.

Without obtaining a financial court order, you won’t have severed financial ties from your spouse, even years after divorce, which leaves both parties open to future claims.

We can deal with children arrangements and finances as part of your divorce, without the need to hire a solicitor and spend thousands, so make sure you get advice before discarding getting a financial order or children arrangements order.

Get Your divorce Started Today

Quicke Divorce has helped thousands of couples obtain a quick, easy and stressfree divorce.

If you and your spouse are in agreement then hiring a solicitor is completely unnecessary.

Check Out Our Managed Divorce Services

Yes, the main document in a divorce is the divorce petition, which we will draft for you.

You will not receive templates with parts of the forms to fill in; we complete every part of all the documents so they are ready for you to sign and post into your local county court to start proceedings.

The main support with this service is the detailed guidance pack that comes with example forms and solicitor written jargon-free notes.

You will also be able to contact our team of case managers anytime throughout your process and ask for assistance, whether it’s with your paperwork for the process.

The honest answer is nothing. You are entitled to file your own divorce without any help, but doing so can cause stress, extra pain and indeed extra costs if paperwork isn’t completed correctly.

You could be asked to pay fees up to £120 if errors are made on your divorce documents. We guarantee for £59 that your divorce papers will be completed correctly and sent to you within 24 hours.

The average length of time this service takes is 18-20 weeks, but this is only if all instructions are followed and efficiently handled.

As the divorce process you follow will be a paperwork process, it will depend on how quickly you respond to the court with the next documents and also how efficient the courts are in dealing with your case.

There are no hidden costs involved with any of our services. We clearly display the cost of our services including what you will be expected to pay by the court.

The court fees are your only additional cost and you may be exempt from paying these if you are on a low-income or receive certain benefits.


Managed Divorce Process Service

With our Managed Divorce Service you can get a divorce in 18-20 Weeks as we manage the whole process for you.

The Managed Divorce Service provides you with complete peace of mind as our team of experienced case managers manage the whole divorce process for you.

Everything from start-to-finish is handled for you including all of the papers being completed, filing them at court and dealing with any queries from the judge.

View Our Managed Divorce Service – £169


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