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Can I issue divorce proceedings on my own to get Decree Absolute?

02.07.2018 / Kerstin Beyer
 

Can I issue divorce proceedings on my own?

You have decided to divorce your spouse. And you are wondering whether you can handle the divorce yourself. Can you? The answer is most certainly yes. However, should you? The answer to that question is that that depends.

Let’s start at the beginning. In order to divorce your spouse you need to issue divorce proceedings. Divorce proceedings are relatively straightforward. They are started by issuing a divorce petition. So all you need to do is find your original marriage certificate. You then write a cheque for £550 for the court fee and complete the relevant form which is Form D8.  Then send it all off to the Court and wait for them to get back to you. At the end of the process the court will issue a so called Decree Absolute. The Court will send the Decree Absolute to both of you.  Caution: It is the Decree Absolute and not the Decree Nisi which the court issues first, which ends your marriage and allows you to remarry.

So why not do this yourself if you have the time? We usually say this to our clients:

Be cautious before you issue divorce proceedings where there is an international element

If your divorce does not have an international element then go ahead and do your own divorce. However, if either you, your spouse and/or your children are EU nationals or nationals from outside the EU and/or have assets abroad or live abroad then do come to us to seek advice first. Because in international cases it is often important to consider more than one jurisdiction to assess what one should do and where.

Do not forget to get a Consent Order in addition to your Decree Absolute

You might think that the Decree Absolute ends their marriage (true) and is therefore all you need to obtain. However, that is very often not the case. Because both spouses have potential claims for capital, maintenance, pensions sharing etc against each other. And a Decree Absolute does not change that. So what they need in addition is a consent order which is approved by the Court and which deals with all the (potential) claims they have against each other. Alternatively they need a Judgment from the Court which will be turned into a Court Order. To have a consent order which is approved by the Court is like an insurance policy. It protects you in the future from potential claims of your spouse. It will provide certainty to both of you so that you know where you stand.

Have we answered your questions? Please call Kerstin on 02079364644 to discuss your situation.

“Our door is always open and I am always on hand to help. If you are concerned about your situation or need some advice, you can call me now. It won't cost you anything for us to speak.”

Kerstin Beyer Principal Partner

I’ve so appreciated your help in negotiating this clean break consent order. It’s such a relief knowing that proceedings are now over for good.

from Financial Settlement Client
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