Healys’ divorce lawyers in London and Brighton and the progression of divorce

10th March 2015 by

Once a spouse has embarked upon the journey towards a divorce there are certain steps which must be taken before the marriage can be legally dissolved. By consulting a divorce lawyer in London, Brighton or elsewhere in the UK you can be assured that all criteria to ensure the swiftest journey from petition to decree absolute will be fulfilled.

Initially, one spouse will apply to the family law courts for a divorce; this person is known as the petitioner. The person receiving the divorce petition is the respondent and they will have a limited time to inform the court of their intention in the divorce.

When the court has received the respondent’s acknowledgement of service (form D10) a copy will be sent to the petitioner.

The respondent’s reply to the petition has been received – what happens next?

When the family law court receives the respondent’s reply (and the reply of any co-respondent named on the petition) a copy will be sent directly to the petitioner. He or she should immediately check the answer given to the question, “Do you intend to defend the case?”

If the respondent (and any co-respondent) has answered “No” the petitioner may then ask the court to consider their right to be granted a divorce and to consider arrangements for the children (if there are any). This step is called “applying for directions for trial”.

To complete this step the petitioner will need copies of the application for directions for trial (form D84) and an affidavit of evidence (form D80); both are available from the court office.

There are different versions of form D80 and which one the petitioner will require will be dependent on the grounds for divorce as stated on the petition.

The completed forms should be filed with the family law court office with jurisdiction. This is called “entering your case in the special procedure list”. However, the petitioner must wait nine days from the date upon which the respondent (and any co-respondent) say they received the divorce petition.

Form D80 is an affidavit; a statement which may be used as evidence in court and as such must be confirmed by oath in front of an approved witness. A divorce solicitor can witness the signing of a form D80.

There are certain documents which will be required by the court when filing the application for directions for trial and the affidavit of evidence. These must show:

  • that the respondent (and any named co-respondent) has received the divorce petition;
  • that the respondent (and any named co-respondent) has admitted to having committed adultery if this was the ground for the divorce application;
  • that the respondent consents to a divorce where the ground is that the parties have lived apart for two years; and
  • that the respondent agrees with proposed arrangements for children (if there are any).

In most cases, all the above provisions will be shown on the acknowledgement of service (form D10) and so this form will be required when signing the affidavit. The advice of a divorce solicitor in this process is often helpful to ensure that all requirements are met and that procedural timings are adhered to.

Healys’ divorce lawyers in London and Brighton can help with divorce forms

Healys has offices in London and Brighton and, as a full service legal firm, our divorce lawyers are able to benefit from the expertise of legal professionals across all fields of litigation which may be required in a divorce, including overseas finances, property and company law.

All our divorce lawyers are members of Resolution and we also benefit from having several members of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel within the firm.

Whether your divorce is likely to be straightforward or you will need the experience required to tackle the manifold and complex issues of contested divorce speak to a Healys divorce solicitor today and you will be able to rely on us to deal with your case sympathetically, efficiently and always in confidence.

For more information on the service we provide, please contact Catherine Taylor on 01273 669 124 or email catherine.taylor@healys.com for Brighton. For London please contact Jane Sanders on 020 7822 4107 or email jane.sanders@healys.com.