Making child arrangements if you divorce or separate

Apply for a court order

Follow these steps to apply for a court order.

  1. Read guidance CB001 on making an application.

  2. Fill in the C100 court form. You must show you’ve attended a meeting about mediation first - except in certain cases (there’s been domestic abuse, for example).

  3. Send the original form and 3 copies of it to the nearest court that deals with cases involving children.

Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), your C100 form will be processed faster if you submit it online than if you send it by post.

It costs £215 to apply for a court order.

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

  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: