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Process of Filing for Divorce Explained

You will need to have some important information prepared before you file for a divorce. Check what details you need and how to apply for a divorce in the United Kingdom.

How to Apply for a Divorce: Documentation

Some of the most important information you need includes:

  • The full name and the address of your husband or wife.
  • Either the original marriage certificate or a copy from the General Register Office (GRO). Follow the process for certifying a document if you need it translating into English.
  • Some proof of a name change if you changed it since getting married (e.g. a deed poll name change or your marriage certificate).

Even though you may not know the current address of your husband or wife, you must try to find it. The court needs to send a copy of the divorce petition to them.

There is a specific process to divorce a missing husband or wife if you do not know where they are (or they are presumed to be dead).

Naming the person that a spouse committed adultery with means they get copies of the divorce paperwork.

Divorce Filing Fee

The current and mandatory court-filing fees are £593 when you apply for a divorce. The type of payment accepted will depend on which method you use for the application.

Note: Are you getting a low income or do you receive welfare benefits? If so, you may be able to get help paying court fees and some tribunal fees.

Apply for Divorce Online

You must be applying yourself to use the online service. Solicitors, or anyone wanting to end a civil partnership, must apply by post. You need a credit or a debit card if you apply for a divorce online in England and Wales.

If You Need Help Applying Online

Digital Divorce Contact Centre
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0300 303 0642
Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 5pm
United Kingdom phone call charges.

Applying for Divorce by Post

You can ask the court to end your marriage or civil partnership by postal methods using form D8. You should fill in ‘Form D8: Apply for a divorce, dissolution, (judicial) separation or separation order‘ to start divorce proceedings.

The next step is to send three (3) copies of the form to your nearest divorce centre. Once they receive them, they will send one of the copies to your spouse (husband or wife).

Note: Make sure you keep a copy of the forms yourself. You would need to send four (4) copies if you named the person that your husband or wife committed adultery with.

If you apply for a divorce by post there are several ways you can pay the fee, including:

  • By credit or debit card (the divorce centre will phone you to take the payment).
  • By cheque (you should make it payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’).


How to Get a Divorce | Read through the key steps to follow during the process of getting a divorce.
Apply for Decree Nisi | You must ask the court to consider whether your grounds for divorce are valid.

After Making an Application for a Divorce

The divorce centre will check that the application is correct and then they will send you:

  • A notice that your application got issued (meaning sent out).
  • A copy of your application stamped by the divorce centre and a case number.

They will also send a copy of your application to your husband or wife along with an ‘acknowledgement of service’ form.

When your husband or wife receives the acknowledgement of service form, it will ask them:

  • Whether they intend to try to prevent the divorce (defend it).
  • If they object to paying the costs (if you claimed them).

Note: Your spouse (husband or wife) must respond to a divorce application within eight (8) days of receiving it.

Naming the Person a Spouse Committed Adultery With

Did you name someone that your spouse (husband or wife) committed adultery with? If so, they will receive a copy of the application which also asks them to make a response.

How to File for Divorce in the United Kingdom