Healys divorce solicitors in London and Brighton look at the divorce petition

7th March 2015 by


Whether you live in London, Brighton, Birmingham or Cardiff, an experienced divorce solicitor can help make the whole divorce experience less stressful and more cost-efficient.

Even if a marriage split seems straightforward and amicable, it is always wise to seek the advice of a family law practitioner who can explain all aspects of the proceedings and will be able to highlight many issues regarding finances and conditions of divorce which might initially be unclear. Here, we look at the fundamental beginning of divorce proceedings.

The divorce petition

A divorce must be commenced with a divorce petition under the Family Proceedings Rules 1991, regulation 2.2(1).

The petition is the central document in the case and will be filed with the family law court by the spouse who is seeking to dissolve the marriage (the petitioner). Once filed, the court will serve the petition on the other spouse (the respondent), and any other party named (the co-respondent) if the petitioner is applying for divorce on grounds of adultery.

The petition, in its simplest form, is the document which explains to the family court why the petitioner feels they are entitled to a divorce, and it sets out any other orders that the party will be seeking as part of the divorce process, such as orders for ancillary relief (financial support) and financial arrangements for any children of the marriage.

The divorce petition is known as form D8 and if there are children of the union, the petitioner will be required to fill in a form D8A – Statement of Arrangements for Children.

Arrangements for children in a divorce

Although the petitioner must name all the children of the family, whether they are living in the household or not and regardless of their age, the court will only be concerned with children who still need parental care and financial support because of their age and circumstance.

Children of the family are considered as those born to the petitioner and the respondent or those who have been treated by these parties as if they had been born to them – this includes adopted children, but not foster children.

Children considered under form D8A will be under 16, or between 16 and 18 and still in full time education.

Completing divorce documents

In many ways the divorce petition is a simple statement of facts followed by a “prayer” which sets out what you are asking the court for; a divorce (“the suit”) and perhaps financial support (“ancillary relief”).

However, it is always advisable to seek the advice of a divorce solicitor if you are in any doubt about which financial order or orders you may require. If you cross out particular sections of the prayer and later change your mind, you will have to ask the court’s permission before you can make further application to the court. And once the petitioner is remarried, permission to change the ancillary relief request cannot be made.

If you require help to fill in your divorce petition the experienced team of Healys’ divorce solicitors in London and Brighton can help.

Our many years’ experience as specialist divorce solicitors and family lawyers has taught us that each individual situation is different. Healys can help by listening sensitively and giving you straightforward legal advice so you can weigh up what options will work best for you.

For straightforward, yet sensitive advice which is always in confidence please call Catherine Taylor on 01273 669 124 or e-mail catherine.taylor@healys.com