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. Your fee will not be refunded after you are sent the notice that your application has been issued.

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 or in Welsh

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

You can get help filling in the form at a Citizens Advice office.

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’
  1. Step 1 Get support and advice

    You can get support or counselling to help you through the divorce process.

    1. Get support and advice from Relate
    2. Find a counsellor on Counselling Directory
  2. Step 2 Check if you can get divorced

  3. Step 3 Make arrangements for children, money and property

  4. Step 4 Apply for a divorce

  5. Step 5 Apply for 'decree nisi'

    You need to apply for a 'decree nisi' and give the court more information about why your marriage has broken down.

    1. Apply for a decree nisi
  6. Step 6 Finalise your divorce

    You need to apply for a 'decree absolute' to finalise your divorce. You'll have to wait 6 weeks and 1 day from the date of your decree nisi.

    1. Apply for a decree absolute

    Once the court approves your decree absolute, they'll send you both a copy of it and your divorce will be complete.

  7. Step 7 Report that your circumstances have changed

    You also have to tell other government organisations that you're getting divorced if: