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The Divorce process in England and Wales

A Guide to the Divorce Process in England and Wales

The divorce process in England and Wales has 5 separate steps, which can be completed without instructing a solicitor and spending over £1,000 on your divorce.

You will need to complete a D8 divorce petition, which is the main document in a divorce and then make two more separate applications to the court in order to complete the divorce procedure.

It is possible to complete the UK divorce process within 3 months – we’ve had clients complete within 12-14 weeks this year – but not everyone can expect their divorce process to be completed so quickly, with the average divorce case taking 18-20 weeks to finalise.

Steps to the Divorce Procedure in the UK

  • Find a valid ground for divorce to use.
  • File a D8 Divorce petition with the courts
  • Apply for a decree nisi
  • Apply for a decree absolute

Although there are only four steps necessary to obtain a divorce, there are parts of the divorce procedure where your spouse needs to acknowledge the divorce papers and respond to the court.

We have put together some detailed information on each step of the divorce procedure in England and Wales so that you understand exactly what is involved before you apply for a divorce.

The stages of the divorce process

Step 1 - File Divorce Petition

A divorce petition (D8) is filed at court setting out the ground for the divorce with the court fee of £550.00 (If applicable to you). The divorce petition is the main document in any divorce and is therefore essential that you complete this document correctly.

Step 2 - Acknowlegement of Service

The court will then send a copy of the divorce petition form to your spouse with an acknowledgement of service form to complete and return. If your spouse needs assistance in completing the form to make sure it's sent back to the courts correctly, they should look at a respondent in divorce service.

Step 3 - Decree Nisi

You can then apply for the Decree Nisi (the first decree), which is a document which states that the court cannot see a reason why you can't divorce.

Step 4 - Decree Nisi Pronounced

The court will issue a certificate telling you when the Decree Nisi will be pronounced in court.

Step 5 - Application for Decree Absolute

6 weeks after the Decree Nisi you can then apply to make the Decree Nisi, Absolute (the final decree), which will end your marriage.

Divorce-Online can help you with the divorce process

Government statistics have shown that the average divorce process in 2015 when filing your own divorce took 33 weeks to complete from start to finish.

When you have Divorce-Online and our staff manage everything for you, it can be completed within 16-20 weeks on average. This timescale can obviously vary depending on several factors, but none more so than the courts staff being overran. 

There are many reasons why we can complete your divorce process quicker, if you want to find out the process we take with our service, have a look at our undefended divorce timetable.

Our Managed divorce service involves our divorce experts managing your divorce process from start to finish for just £189.00. We will complete your divorce papers, file them with the courts and have full correspondence with the courts so you don’t have any worries throughout your divorce. 

How long does a typical divorce process take to complete?

A typical online amicable divorce where both parties have agreed to the divorce and the grounds for divorce they wish to file upon, usually takes 4-6 months.

Unfortunately, as a divorce is a legal procedure there is no definitive timetable for a divorce to complete within. Things that can delay the divorce being made absolute can include;

  • Delays at the court
  • Delays in returning paperwork back to the court
  • Delays in sending paperwork to the court
  • Delays in your spouse responding to paperwork

One of the main reasons our Managed Divorce Service usually completes within 16-18 weeks is because of our efficient staff and our relationship with the courts, which allows us to proceed quickly with the next stage of your divorce process. 

Handling your own divorce proess without any help can be a daunting task, but there is no need to go it alone as Divorce-Online are here to help. View our divorce services or or call us on 01793 384 029.

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