The Questionnaire The petitioner will be asked to complete a detailed questionnaire, called an affidavit. Here again the court clerks will help, short of giving actual legal advice.
The questionnaire repeats most of the information already given in the petition. It asks the petitioner to state the date of separation, brief reasons for it and also ‘When and in what circumstances did you come to the conclusion that the marriage was in fact at an end?’ This could be answered for example by saying: `In June 2006 when he stopped telephoning me at weekends’, or alternatively : ‘In June 2006 when I got a email telling me he had found another woman. ‘ The answer to this question could be crucial because from it the judge will have to decide whether he considers the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
The questionnaire asks, too, the dates, places and periods of the petitioner’s residence since separation (except in the case of adultery). It ends with an affidavit, which the petitioner signs and declares is true before a clerk at the court office. After the questionnaire has been handed in, it will be considered by the registrar of the court. In cases proceeding at the Divorce Registry, if the petitioner is prepared to wait, it is possible to ask for this consideration to take place straight away, in which event the petitioner will be referred to the registrar on duty for the day.
He will be able to say at once whether the documents are satisfactory. In other cases, the registrar will consider the documents as soon as possible, and send notice to the petitioner if any point requires further explanation.