How to Fill Out a Divorce Acknowledgement of Service Form

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If your ex has started divorce proceedings in England or Wales, they have to send the divorce application into the Court. Once the Court receives it, it’ll be stamped and they’ll send an “Acknowledgement of Service” to you. You’ll also get a notice of proceedings too, which you should keep.

Because your ex started divorce proceedings, they’re known by the Court as the (Divorce) Applicant and you’re known as the (Divorce) Respondent.

Once you’ve received the Acknowledgment of Service, you’ll need to reply to the questions asked. You can do this either online or by post.

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How to Fill Out an Acknowledgement of Service Form

Below we take you through each of the questions in the Acknowledgment of Service form and provide some help on how to respond to these:

  • Have you received the divorce petition?

The answer should just be yes.

  • Are there any Court proceedings in any countries outside England and Wales relating to the marriage that are capable of affecting its validity or subsistence? If so, please provide details.

The answer to this will usually be no, but if there are divorce proceedings in another country then the response will be yes. Add in a sentence or two to describe the other divorce case.

  • In which country are you habitually resident, where are you domiciled and of which country are you a national?

The answer to each part of this question will not always be the same.

Habitual residence tends to be where a person lives or spends most of their time.

‘Domiciled’ refers to the place where the Respondent has set up their permanent home.

You’ll need to confirm your nationality to satisfy the last part and you will need to answer each of the three parts of the question.

  • Do you agree with the ground for jurisdiction set out in the petition? If not, please state why you disagree.

Jurisdiction is where (which country) the divorce will be processed. You can usually agree on this with your ex, but if you think your divorce should be heard in another country, answer no.

If you want your divorce financial settlement to be decided in a different country to your divorce and there is a good reason why this should happen, you should take care answering this question and consider taking legal advice before responding.

  • On which date and at which address did you receive the petition?

You just need to confirm the date you received the divorce petition and the address it was sent to you.

  • Are you the person named as the respondent in the petition?

You should answer yes to this question unless you are a co-respondent, but this is rare. 

  • Do you intend to defend the case?

You should answer no unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you intend to defend a divorce, then you should get legal advice from a Divorce Solicitor; and be aware that defending (contesting) a divorce is will cost more than not defending it.

  • Even if you do not intend to defend the case, do you object to paying the cost of the proceedings? If so, on what grounds?

You should not defend a divorce petition just because you don’t want to pay the divorce costs. If you say yes to this question, you can easily make an agreement between you to pay your own divorce costs or to split the total cost equally between you.

Returning the Acknowledgement of Service Form

You only have seven days from receipt of your Acknowledgement of Service form to complete and return it to the Court.

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