A Checklist For Divorce Paperwork

Divorce can be a daunting process, filled with emotional turmoil and unfamiliar legal procedures. One of the initial hurdles you might face is understanding the necessary divorce paperwork. Fear not! This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to navigate the essential documents required for a divorce in the UK.

Essential Paperwork for Divorce in the UK

Divorce Petition (D8 Form)

  • The Divorce Petition, also known as a D8 form, is the main piece of paperwork required to start the divorce process. This form requires your full name and address, your spouse’s name and address, and details of your marriage, including the date and location. Additionally, you need to specify the grounds for the divorce and whether you intend to claim any divorce costs from your spouse.
  • You must submit three copies of the D8 form to the court, plus an additional copy if you are naming someone in cases of adultery.

Marriage Certificate

  • The court needs to see your original marriage certificate. If you don’t have it, you can request a certified copy from the registrar where you were married, which costs £9.25. Photocopies, even certified by a lawyer, are not accepted. If your marriage took place outside England and Wales, you’ll need a certified copy from the issuing country and a certified translation if it’s not in English.

Court Fees or Exemption Forms

  • Filing a divorce petition incurs a court fee. However, if you’re on a low income or receive benefits, you might be exempt or eligible for a reduction. Complete Form Ex160 and the related documents to apply for this.

Spouse’s Current Address

  • You need to include your spouse’s current address so that they can be sent a copy of the divorce petition. If you do not know their address, alternative forms can be filled out to send the petition via email or even bypass this step, though fees apply.

Confidentiality Forms (C8 Form)

  • If your relationship with your ex-partner is particularly difficult, and you do not want them to know your current address, you can fill out a C8 form to keep your address confidential.

Financial Order (Form A)

  • If there are disagreements about finances, you may need to file a Financial Order using Form A. This will incur a fee and can slow the divorce process as the court order must be agreed upon before moving forward.

Responding to Divorce Paperwork

If you are the respondent in a divorce, you will receive a copy of the divorce petition. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Acknowledgement of Service Form: If you agree to the divorce, simply sign and return this form within 8 days of receiving the petition. No additional paperwork is required. Even if the divorce is amicable, make sure you understand the terms outlined in the petition before signing the acknowledgement form.
  • Defending the Petition: If you disagree with the terms or the divorce itself, use the same form but fill out the section for contesting the petition. Also, submit an answer form explaining your reasons within 21 days (incurs a fee). This can be a complex process, especially if you have children or significant financial assets involved. Consulting with a qualified family law expert at this stage can be extremely beneficial.

Applying for Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute

  • Decree Nisi Statement: Once the court sees no reason to prevent the divorce, you’ll apply for this decree. It involves filling out a statement based on the divorce grounds and attaching your spouse’s response. The decree nisi marks a significant milestone, but it’s important to remember that your marriage is not legally dissolved yet.
  • Decree Absolute Application: This is the final step, marking the official dissolution of your marriage. You can apply six weeks after receiving the decree nisi and simply requires a final form requesting it. Patience is key during this waiting period. Don’t make any major life decisions, such as remarrying, until you receive the decree absolute.

Other Considerations in Family Law

  • Child Arrangements: If you have children, consider child arrangements with your ex-partner. If an agreement cannot be reached, a family law expert can help negotiate and seek a legally binding order. The UK family court prioritises the welfare of children.
  • Financial Review: Gather information about your financial situation, including property, bank accounts, investments, pensions, mortgages, loans, and debts. This helps in making informed decisions during the divorce process.


  • Keep copies of all your divorce paperwork and official documents for your records. A well-organised filing system will be invaluable throughout the process and even after the divorce is finalised.
  • Consider seeking legal advice from a qualified divorce expert especially for the paperwork. They can guide you through the process, ensure all forms are filled correctly, and represent you in court if necessary. While legal representation isn’t mandatory, a solid expertise can save you time, money, and emotional stress in the long run.

How McKenzie Friend Can Help You with Divorce Paperwork

At McKenzie Friend UK, we understand the complexities and anxieties surrounding divorce. Our team of experienced and compassionate family law experts can provide invaluable support throughout the process. We offer:

  • Free 30-Min Initial Consultation: Discuss your options and alleviate your initial concerns. Talking to a legal professional, even for a free consultation, can give you a clearer picture of the path ahead and the resources available to you.
  • Understanding the Forms: Divorce petitions, decree applications, and financial forms can be complex and confusing. Our McKenzie Friend can explain these forms in plain English, ensure you fill them out correctly, and answer any questions you may have.

  • Gathering Documents: There’s a variety of documents required throughout the divorce process, including marriage certificates, financial statements, and proof of address. Our McKenzie Friends can help you identify the necessary documents, advise on where to obtain them, and ensure they’re presented in the correct format.

  • Meeting Deadlines: Missing deadlines in court proceedings can have serious consequences. Our divorce experts will keep you on track, ensuring all forms and documents are submitted within the required timeframes.

  • Completing Forms Accurately: Inaccurate information on forms can delay the process or even lead to your application being rejected. Our expert team can review your completed forms to minimise errors and ensure they meet court standards.

  • Liaising with the Family Court: Communicating with the court can be daunting. Our McKenzie Friends can handle some of this correspondence for you, such as submitting forms and following up on inquiries.

  • Emotional Support: Divorce is a stressful experience. We have an empathetic team that can provide a listening ear and moral support throughout the process.

Simplify Your Divorce Paperwork With Us

Contact McKenzie Friend UK today for a free initial consultation. Let us discuss your specific situation and show you how we can be your ally in dealing with the complexities of divorce paperwork.

Contact us today at 0121 582 2499 to learn how we can assist you during your separation journey.

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