|Mahie Abey, Head of Family Law, Dawson Hart|
If you are the person initiating the divorce (or dissolution of a civil partnership or a judicial separation) then you are known as ‘the Petitioner’ and you will have to fill in the divorce petition.
- Remember you are the Petitioner and your ex-partner is the Respondent.
- In many cases, for the sake of brevity, we have used ‘marriage’ to mean ‘marriage or civil partnership’.
- The numbers on this blog post relate to the page number of the form not the section or question number – hence 3.A relates to something on page 3 (even if it is in section 2).
If you have already been filled in form EX160, and been told you don’t have to pay the full fee, then enter your 'Help with Fees reference number' here.
If you got married abroad tick the 2nd box. Note you’ll need to make sure you have the translation to send in with your completed petition.
In most cases it will be ‘Yes’ – i.e. if your name before you got married was Jane Smith, and when you were married you used your husband’s surname and became Jane Jones, then so long as you have entered one of those names in the first 2 boxes of 2.1 you should tick this box.
If the name you have given in the first 2 boxes of qn 2.1 is not the name you had before you were married, nor your spouse’s surname nor a combination of the two surnames, then tick ‘No’.
- if you have a change of name deed or a statutory declaration about your change of name then you’ll need to attach it to your completed petition – no need to do anything more
- if you don’t have a change of name deed or a statutory declaration then you’ll need to explain in the box why your name has changed
2.D If you’ve answered ‘Yes’ above then fill in these 4 boxes.
In most cases it will be the ‘Yes’ box – i.e. your husband has always been called John Hamilton, or your ex-partner’s name before you got married was Jane Smith, and when you were married she used your name and became Jane Jones (or Jane Smith-Jones), and this is the name she still uses.
So long as you have entered one of those names in the first 2 boxes of qn 3.1 you should tick ‘Yes’.
If the name you have given in the first 2 boxes of qn 3.1 is not the name your ex-partner had before you were married, nor your surname nor a combination of the two surnames, then tick ‘No’ – and, if you know, why their name has changed since your marriage, explain why in the box below.
Tick ‘No’ if your ex-partner is NOT using a solicitor for the divorce and court papers should be sent to his or her home address (which you’ve already listed).
- The Respondent on numerous occasions has stated that [he/she] does not love the Petitioner anymore, which has caused the Petitioner distress.
- The Respondent has consistently shown little or no interest in socialising with the Petitioner or [his/her] friends and has made no effort to do so
- The Respondent has regularly belittled the Petitioner, both in private and on occasions in public, causing the Petitioner to lose self-esteem.
- The Respondent is often selfish in the way [he/she] behaves and has in recent times not prioritised the parties’ relationship in any way.
- The Respondent does not sleep in the same bed as the Petitioner, and has not done so since [insert date], causing the Petitioner distress.
- The parties have not had a sexual relationship since [insert date], which has been caused by the Respondent’s behaviour and distressed the Petitioner.
- The Petitioner believes that the Respondent has formed a relationship with another [man/woman], which has caused the Petitioner distress.
- The Respondent moved out of the matrimonial home on [insert date] saying that [he/she] could no longer live with the Petitioner and that the marriage was over, which caused the Petitioner obvious distress.
- The Petitioner moved out of the matrimonial home on [insert date] as a result of the behaviour of the Respondent, believing that there was no future in the marriage and that the Respondent’s behaviour would not change.
- The Respondent has a bad temper which [he/she] has lost on numerous occasions causing the Petitioner to be scared.
- The parties have argued over money issues for some time. These arguments have been fuelled by the Respondent’s attitude and behaviour.
- The Respondent has been verbally abusive towards the Petitioner on numerous occasions causing the Petitioner distress.
- The Respondent has always disliked the Petitioner’s family, which has led to the Petitioner feeling isolated from them and thus causing [him/her] distress.
- The Respondent has always had too close a relationship to [his/her] own family making the Petitioner feel isolated.
- The Respondent has never liked the Petitioner’s family despite the Petitioner’s best efforts and has never socialised with them as much as the Petitioner has requested, causing the Petitioner distress.
- The Respondent has failed to look after [himself/herself] physically despite the Petitioner’s requests to the contrary.
- The Respondent has consistently refused to assist around the house, leaving all such matters to the Petitioner, despite regular requests to the contrary.
- The Respondent often drinks excessively, in the view of the Petitioner, which causes [him/her] to behave in an [irresponsible/aggressive/unpleasant] manner, causing the Petitioner distress.
- The Respondent is a very jealous person who regularly checks the Petitioner’s [movements/friends/telephone calls/text messages], which makes the Petitioner feel constantly ill at ease and unnecessarily monitored
- The Respondent makes most of the decisions in the parties’ lives without consulting the Petitioner enough or at all. This makes the Petitioner feel as if [he/she] is being constantly pressured into doing things [he/she] does not want to.
- The Respondent is obsessive in [his/her] habits and is constantly critical if the Petitioner does not meet [his/her] perceived high standards, which the Petitioner is unable to tolerate any longer.
- The Respondent, in the Petitioner’s view, is unnecessarily mean with money and keeps a very tight control over the family finances, treating the Petitioner as a paid employee rather than a spouse.
- The Respondent has always gone out with[his/her] [male/female] friends regularly, to the exclusion of the Petitioner, causing [him/her] distress.
- The Respondent’s behaviour has been very erratic over the recent past, with regular mood shifts and unprovoked anger, which has led to the Petitioner feeling uneasy in the relationship.
- The Respondent is obsessed by [fill in the relevant hobby/interest] and spends most of [his/her] free time in this pursuit to the exclusion of the family.
- The Respondent works very long hours and does not find time to spend with the Petitioner and the family, which has caused the Petitioner to feel no longer part of the Respondent’s life.
- The Respondent’s [insert behaviour] which has caused the Petitioner [insert the effect it has had on you].