How to Fill In A Divorce Petition in the UK
Unfortunately, not all marriages last forever – sometimes a marriage breaks down for a number of reasons. If a married couple decides they no longer wish to stay together, they can file for a divorce. To initiate a divorce the instigating party must file a divorce petition – this document is a legal requirement and although it is quite extensive, it can be filled out easily enough. This guide talks you through the process and explains the different sections involved.
How To Fill In A Divorce Petition
A blank D8 divorce petition can be downloaded from the official UK government website together with a helpful guide on the various sections involved. For your convenience, we have listed below the different pages and steps contained in the divorce petition. Before filling the form out it is important to remember that the person who instigates the divorce is the Petitioner, and the other spouse is the respondent.
Page 1 – Divorce/Dissolution/Separation petition
This initial page provides some useful guidelines together with a series of pointers that must be adhered to when filling in a divorce petition. Some stipulations for completing the form i.e. using black ink and block capital letters are stated. You must also enter your name and the type of legal proceeding you wish to apply for.
Page 2 – About You
Next, you have to fill out generic details about yourself and your spouse. Remember as stated above, you are the petitioner, and your spouse is the respondent.
Part 1 – About You
– Simple details about you and your partner including name and D.O.B
Part 2 – Details of the marriage
– Details of your marriage such as when & where it started
Page 3 – Jurisdiction
Now you must provide jurisdiction to the courts to grant you a divorce. This includes stating the last address you and your partner lived at, and a selection of three options relating to the legal acts in which the court’s jurisdiction falls under. This section is self-explanatory and quite easy to follow.
Page 4 – Other Proceedings/The Facts
This page deals with any previous court hearings relating to your marriage/divorce and the grounds for divorce that you are citing. It is important to have any documentation relating to previous court cases available, and that you have discussed which reason you are listing for your grounds for divorce.
Part 4 – Other Proceedings
– You must list here any other course hearings that are relevant
Part 5 – The Facts
– This is where you state the fact(s) for divorce that supports your petition.
– See our handy guide on grounds for divorce for further information.
Page 5 – Statement of case/Details of Children
Next, you must back up your reasons for divorce with evidence and/or a simple statement and also list any children you both have.
Part 6 – Statement of case
– Explain the “facts” you chose in Part 5
– There is documentation available with a list of pre-worded responses.
– It could prove beneficial to enlist the help of a solicitor to complete this section.
Part 7 – Details of children
– List any children you or your spouse have regardless of which relationship they came from
Page 6 & 7 – Special Assistance/Service Details
Once you have listed your reasons for divorce you must now attend to the actual court proceedings and your legal representation.
Part 8 – Special Assistance
– This section is for those who have a disability, impairment or who may struggle in a court environment.
– Listing this information will allow the court to provide you with a tailored service.
Part 9 – Service Details
– This section is where you list the details of your legal representative
– You must also list both parties current address for the legal documents to be served
Page 8 – Prayer
Although this may seem like a strange section title, you are essentially praying that the court carries out your wishes and terminates your marriage. You must actually stipulate what you want them to do and whether or not you wish for your spouse to pay the divorce fees.
What to do Once You Have Completed the Divorce Petition?
Once you have completed the divorce petition it is prudent to double check what you have written and ensured you are completely happy with the contents. It is then advisable to carry out the following steps listed below:
1. Send a copy of the divorce petition to your spouse.
– They should check the form and make any comments
– Ask them to return the form with any suggested amendments in a two-week time frame
2. Create three copies of your completed divorce petition
3. Create a cover letter to send with your divorce petition
– There are many templates you can download with pre-written covering letters
4. Place together the following items:
– The signed cover letter
– The original Divorce Petition
– Your original marriage certificate
– The court fee of £550 made payable to HMCTS
Finally, you must post the above documentation to the centralised divorce processing centre or your solicitor will do this if they are handling the divorce for you.
This should have now completed the divorce petition process. You should receive some form of documentation by return and information on the status of your application and a date for the divorce hearing in court. If you are unsure of any of the advice provided, or the information listed in the petition, it would be prudent to seek the help of a qualified divorce solicitor – they should be able to talk you through the documentation and help you complete it.
Although the petition may seem like a long and drawn out document to complete, each step is quite straightforward; you should be able to complete it without any problems – just ensure that you have any documentation to hand that could help. Also, ensure that you download the accompanying guide available from the government website.