Divorce Procedure: How to File for Divorce

The common divorce procedure starts with a DIVORCE PETITION being sent to the Court. This document sets out the details of your marriage – when it was, where it was, your last home address together, any child and any relevant Court proceedings. It also sets out the grounds for the divorce.

If there are children involved, a separate document will go to the Court containing all details about the children – home, schools, contact with absent parent, health, etc. This document is the STATEMENT OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR CHILDREN.

These documents are sent to Court by whoever is starting the divorce. That person is called the PETITIONER. The other party will be called the RESPONDENT. If the divorce involves adultery and the third party is referred to in the Petition, they are called the CO-RESPONDENT.  It is most unusual for a third party to be named. There is no advantage in so doing and we would always advocate against involving or naming another person unnecessarily.

The Petitioner deals with most of the divorce procedure, while the Respondent has little active involvement.

When the Court receives the divorce Petition, it will give you a case a number to show that the divorce proceedings have begun. Even though divorce proceedings are underway, it is always possible to withdraw the divorce by agreement between the partie's for example, should you become reconciled.

The second step of the standard divorce procedure involves the divorce papers being served to the Respondent.

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