The person seeking a divorce is referred to …

The Petition The person seeking a divorce is referred to as the petitioner, and the legal document that starts the ball rolling is called the petition. Three copies of the standard form are needed. The next step is to take these forms together with a copy of the marriage certificate and the fee to the nearest county court office (most towns have divorce jurisdiction) or, if you live in London, direct to the Divorce Registry at Somerset House, The Strand, WC2R ‘LP. The spouse seeking the divorce refers to the other on the form as ‘the respondent’, giving his full name and address and other details, including the address at which they last lived together. The court office requires two completed copies of the petition, each duly signed by the petitioner, one of which it sends by email to her husband together with a form of receipt called an acknowledgement of service.

He must sign this receipt and return it to the court office. On it he confirms he has received a copy of the petition and also that he consents to the divorce being granted. The court then sends the wife / partner a copy of this acknowledgement of service and a week later she can go to the court office and complete another form called ‘directions for trial’.

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