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Our blog provides illustrated practical guides for those going through the divorce process, plus news on divorce, money and family breakdown.

"I would like to let you know that I found your website so invaluable in my divorce process. I am having to represent myself due to lack of finances and I know for a fact I wouldn't have been able to do it had it not been for your fantastic website. I would recommend it to anyone who find themselves in a similar situation to me." Madeleine

19 June 2012

What to do with your completed Divorce Petition

Mahie Abey, Family Solicitor
When you have completed your Divorce Petition, what should you do with it?

1.      The first thing I’d recommend is to send it (or preferably a copy) to your ex- partner and see if they have any comments – ask them to come back to you within two weeks. Ideally what you want is for the divorce to go through smoothly - and so the more that can be agreed in advance between the two of you the better.

2.      Once you’ve done that and you’ve heard back from them, or if you decide it is just not sensible in your particular case to send the form to your ex-partner in advance, you need to copy the Divorce Petition 3 times.

3.      Fill in and amend as necessary the template covering letter you can download here.

4.      Then put together:

a.                  The signed covering letter
b.                  The original Divorce Petition form, with 2 copies (keep a copied set for yourself in case the Court loses the documents)
c.                 Your original marriage certificate (note that this won’t be returned)
d.                   A cheque made payable to HMCTS for £550 (the fee was increased to this on 21/03/16)

You used to send (or take) these documents to the Family Court closest to where your ex-partner lives.

But recently the government has announced that, in an attempt to improve efficiency, all divorce petitions should be sent by post (you can't turn up in person) to one of eleven new centralised divorce processing centres. (The only exception to this is if you need your divorce petition issuing urgently, in which case you would be using a solicitor.)

Find your nearest divorce processing centre by going here, clicking on Next and then selecting 'Divorce: ending a marriage'. Say that you are about to start a new claim and then enter your postcode.

Your local divorce processing centre will be shown - for example if you are in the South East it will be:

(There are a few areas of the country where petitions are still being sent to the local family court, not yet to a divorce processing centre, so don't worry if a court rather than a centre does come up for your postcode - use whichever address appears.)

So, post everything listed above off to the address shown.

5.      On receipt of the documents the Court will ‘issue’ them and then post them to your ex-partner. They will also send you a copy of the issued documents for your files.

It really couldn’t be easier. (Of course if you use Intelligent Divorce to help you agree your finances, we'll handle all your divorce paperwork, and manage the process for you, completely free of charge, so you won't have to worry at all!) 

Are there any major elephant traps at this stage? To be honest, no. Furthermore as long as your ex-partner co-operates the rest of the divorce process should be relatively straightforward. You have done the hard work. 
I will tell you what to do from now in another blog.

Have a look at our other illustrated practical guides to the divorce process and sorting out your finances.