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You can obtain a divorce by completing a number of documents, without any need to attend Court. The main steps are as follows:
1) Initial Application
The divorce process is started when the application form (D8) is filed with the court. Under the new "no fault" divorce regime, an application form can be completed by one person or jointly. You will need your original marriage certificate to do this. If one person files for divorce, they are now called the Applicant, the other party will be called the Respondent. If you are making a joint application for divorce, you will be called Applicant 1 and 2. You will need to sign a statement stating that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, without needing to give any reason, such as adultery.
2) Serving the Application
The court will then serve the application directly on the person named on the form as the Respondent, unless you have requested to serve the application yourself. You can serve the application by email or post, but you must keep a record of the date you served the application.
3) Conditional Order
After a 20 week period, you need to apply for a Conditional Order, which used to be called the Decree Nisi, which is the interim stage of the divorce. The Conditional Order confirms that the Court does not see any reason why the parties cannot divorce, or end their civil partnership.
4) Final Order
To finalise the divorce, you will need to apply for a Final Order, which used to be called the Decree Absolute. A period of 43 days must pass between the Conditional Order and the Final Order. If the Final Order is not applied for within 12 months the applicant will have to explain the reason for this to the Court. The usual reason why a Final Order has not been applied for will be that the couple have not agreed a financial settlement.
We understand that this process may seem daunting, but we will prepare all of the necessary documents and keep you fully updated during the process. Call us on 0121 355 0011 to discuss your concerns.