Just received a divorce petition from your spouse?
We have found that our clients often like to know a little bit about the initial stages of a divorce before they come in and see us. So, on this page, we have put together some information about the first step in a divorce; the divorce petition. Don’t worry too much about the details though – we can go over everything in your free initial assessment.
To begin the divorce process you will be required to complete a divorce petition (Form D8) and file it at a local divorce court. If there are children involved you will also need to fill in a statement of arrangement for the children (Form D8A).
The divorce petition sets out the basic information the court needs to know about your marriage such as the date on which you were legally married, when you last lived together as husband and wife and if you have any children. If you are petitioning on the basis of your spouse’s adultery you may also choose whether or not to name the person with whom your husband/wife has had an affair. This person is known as the co-respondent. The petition also then asks on which grounds you are seeking a divorce (see our Grounds for Divorce page) and provides a ‘particulars’ section for you to set out the details of your allegations.
After the divorce petition is filed
After you have filed your divorce petition the court will send you a form entitled ‘Notice of Issue of Petition’ (Form DH9). This form provides you with your divorce case number and tells you when the petition was sent to the respondent (your husband or wife). It also explains what to do if your spouse does not reply to the court.
In the meantime the court will have sent a copy of your petition, along with form D10 (Acknowledgement of Service), to the respondent and any named co-respondent. After the respondent receives the form, they have 8 days to return it. When the court receives the acknowledgement of service back from the respondent they will forward a copy on to you. This will tell you whether or not the parties wish to contest your divorce petition.
Our solicitors have the professional expertise and practical experience to lead you through the whole process of completing the Petition and all necessary forms in a helpful and practical fashion.