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.
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.
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.