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. See Divorce Procedure.
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’.
If a divorce involves children and significant financial issues, it is a sensible choice to use a lawyer. The cost of making a mistake will be far bigger than the cost of a solicitor. If you are in this situation and are desperately seeking the help of a solicitor, visit this website.
A divorce lawyer is best suited for:
- One is financially dependent on the other
- Financial assets such as pension funds and business interests
- Joint debts
- Settle claims with a consent order
How to tell the kids
Telling your children that you are getting divorced is one of the most difficult conversations you are going to have. It is important to not push your kids aside during this traumatic period, so here are some tips that I have picked up along the way.
Be as honest with them as possible.
In my case, I told them it was my decision to leave because I was getting so unhappy that it was making me ill. Before you talk to them, discuss childcare arrangements with your ex so that you can tell the kids what’s going to happen. A lot of the fear they will feel is fear of the unknown. More advice.
When the news has sunk in, they may be worried about being ‘the odd one out’ at school, or what their friends will think of them. Talk to them gently about this. Ask if it would help if you told their friend’s mums so that their friends were aware of what was going on. This is what we did, and my sons’ friends were incredibly supportive. Helping kids adjust to divorce.
Tell the school.
Both schools in my case – Primary and Secondary – were great, although it took me several phone calls and emails to the Secondary School to find the right person to tell. You’ll need to get through to the Pastoral Care person, and your child’s form tutor.
Legal page last ppdated on December 14, 2020