How to apply

To apply for a divorce you’ll need:

  • your husband or wife’s full name and address
  • your original marriage certificate or a certified copy (and a certified translation if it’s not in English)
  • proof of your name change if you’ve changed it since you got married - for example your marriage certificate or a deed poll

You must try to find your husband or wife’s current address if you do not know it. The court will need it to send them a copy of the divorce petition.

If you name the person your husband or wife committed adultery with, they’ll get copies of the paperwork.

Fee

You must pay a £550 fee to apply for a divorce. The way you pay depends on how you apply.

You may be able to get help with fees if you get benefits or are on a low income.

Apply online

You can apply for a divorce online.

You’ll need a debit or credit card to apply online.

Apply by post

Fill in a divorce application form D8 (‘divorce petition’) to start a divorce.

Send 3 copies of the form to your nearest divorce centre. They’ll send one copy to your husband or wife.

You need to send 4 copies if you named someone your husband or wife committed adultery with.

Keep your own copy of the forms.

How to pay

You can either pay by:

  • debit or credit card - the divorce centre will call you to take payment
  • cheque - made payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’

What happens next

Your application will be checked. If it’s correct, you’ll be sent:

  • a notice that your application has been issued (sent out)
  • a copy of your application stamped by the divorce centre
  • a case number

Your husband or wife will be sent a copy of your application and an ‘acknowledgement of service’ form.

If you named someone your husband or wife committed adultery with, they’ll also be sent a copy of the application and be asked to respond.

The acknowledgement of service asks if your husband or wife:

  • intends to try to prevent the divorce (defend it)
  • object to paying the costs (if you’ve claimed them)

Your husband or wife must respond within 8 days.