The process of divorce is not a simple one. Even the most straightforward divorce requires a very considerable amount of paperwork with lots of quaint legal phrases designed more to obscure than explain their meaning.
Before you decide how you are going to approach getting a divorce take a look at our simple guide to the divorce process so you have a good idea of what's involved before you decide the route to take.
1. File the divorce petition
This starts the process by the person applying for the divorce, known as the Petitioner. The reasons for seeking the divorce must be given. Many Petitioners choose ‘unreasonable behaviour' as this allegation is open to interpretation. You will not have to prove this so any amount of exaggeration, or even downright invention is OK.
2. Serve the petition
If all the documentation is correct then the Court will issue the divorce petition and send it to your spouse, known as the Respondent.
3. Acknowledgement of Service
A quaint term which requires the respondent to reply within seven days stating whether he or she wants to contest the divorce. In reality it is not worth doing this despite how strongly you feel about not wanting the divorce to go ahead. In practice contested divorces rarely succeed.
4. Confirming the facts in the Divorce Petition
The Acknowledgement of Service form comes back to you so you can confirm the facts as stated in the Divorce Petition (See Step 1)
5. Pronouncement of the Decree Nisi
If everything is in order the Court will set a date for the Decree Nisi. You are now nearly there.
6. Application for the Decree Absolute
The Petitioner then has to wait six weeks and one day before applying for the Decree Absolute. This is the final act, you will now be divorced
This is a very simple version of the steps in the divorce process. It will get more complex when the future of children has to be considered and a lot more complex when there is a lack of an early agreement about the splitting of the family assets. Divorce is all about children and money. Unless there is a clear and simple agreement between you then you should seek the advice of a solicitor.