Divorce Papers Explained for Applicant and Respondent
When you apply for a divorce you are called the Applicant (sometimes also referred to as the Petitioner) and the person who replies to the divorce application is called the Respondent.
There are different forms involved in divorce, which you might only come across if you are applying or responding. The two main forms that you’ll need to complete are the:
Below we explain what you’ll need to do if you are the Applicant or the Respondent.
As the Applicant
You’ll need to fill in the Divorce Petition and send it to the Family Court to apply for your divorce. You can apply either online or by post with a divorce application form D8 found on the gov.uk website. Or if you’re unsure you can ask one of our Divorce Solicitors to complete this for you.
In the form D8 document you should include the details of both you and your former partner. You’ll also have to include your reason for getting a divorce. There are five reasons (commonly known as Grounds for Divorce) that you can choose from including:
- Unreasonable Behaviour
- 2 Years Separation with Consent
- 5 Years Separation without Consent
You’ll need to state if you wish to settle your matrimonial finances at the same time as getting your divorce, although if you do decide to handle your finances now then it’s best to make a separate application for a Financial Order.
You should carefully consider this as if you don’t settle finances now then your former partner can make a claim for your assets at any point in the future.
We have helped many clients who have financial issues because they didn’t completely cut their financial ties with their ex years ago at the time of their divorce. Not taking this step could bring up a lot of issues for you in the future.
In addition to our Fixed Fee Divorce we also offer a Fixed Fee Consent Order.
If you’re concerned about your finances in divorce, our Divorce Solicitors are experts at handling divorce cases for high net worth clients.
As the Respondent
You will receive a copy of the divorce petition with a Notice of Proceedings which will outline the general divorce process. The Notice of Proceedings will outline how long you have to respond to the divorce petition, which is normally 14 days.
You’ll also receive the Acknowledgement of Service form. On this form you must respond to the allegations on the divorce petition and state whether you agree with the reason that your former partner has stated.
If you disagree with the reason for divorce, it is known as ‘contesting’ or challenging a divorce. It’s important to know that contesting a divorce can be a long and expensive process so you should get legal advice before you return an Acknowledgement of Service form.
You must send the Acknowledgement of Service back to the Court with your response to the divorce within 14 days of receiving it. If you don’t return the form the Applicant is within their right to make sure that the form has been delivered to you.
For help see How to Fill Out a Divorce Acknowledgement of Service Form.
Get Legal Advice
Any kind of legal form can be complicated if you’ve not come across it before. And when it comes to divorce, you have to deal with the reality of your whole life changing while trying to sort out the legal stuff, divide your assets and (for many) deal with child living arrangements too.
We can take on the hard part for you. Our team of Divorce Solicitors are highly experienced in all kinds of divorce cases and have filled out thousands of divorce applications. It’s our job to make the divorce process easier for you so you can get the fresh start you deserve.