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Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

So I'm going to pop into the law courts today and ask for some divorce forms....

(15 Posts)
misscathcart Wed 29-Oct-08 07:25:58

What can I expect after that?
I have read up on various websites but it just seems a lot to take in.
I have absolutely no money either - how cheaply can I do this? exdh is in agreement but is in no rush and has no money either. I just want it done asap so I can get on with my life..
any tips?
thanks

mumoverseas Wed 29-Oct-08 07:33:38

hi, you sound determined! Have obviously given this some thought.
If you and your husband are able to deal with this amicably, your costs will be restricted to the Court fees. Think the petition fee is around £200 (may be wrong as not issued proceedings recently!) and then another fee when applying for decree absolute. (think £30)
You can obtain the forms from the county court office although they are not able to give any legal advice. Have you decided on what fact you will be petitioning?
the one ground for divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and you need to back that up with one of five facts. Only two you can proceed immediately, the other persons adultery or their unreasonable behaviour. Are you going ahead on either of these grounds? If not, you are looking at 2 years separation with his consent, desertion for 2 years (rarely used) or 5 years separation.
If you have children you also need to complete the statement of arrangements for children form, a quite long document which sets out details of children, where they live, go to school etc and information regarding their health and arrangements for contact etc. You need to file (take to court) at least two copies of this form and the petition together with your original marriage certificate and the court fee. Once issued, they will send a copy to your (ex)dh and he will then need to complete the acknowledgement of service form and return it to the court to enable the divorce to proceed. If it is all amicable and agreed, then no need to involve solicitors in the divorce but if you have children and finances to sort out, you may decide to seek some advice.
hope this helps, good luck to you. don't be put off by the forms, although the court staff can't give legal advice they can sometimes help with stuff you don't understand.

misscathcart Wed 29-Oct-08 07:38:57

Thats great, thanks so much smile
It is on the grounds of adultery. He went off with someone last December, although they are no longer together (haha! - oops sorry!)
When would the fees need to be paid, do you know? And what are the chances of any financial support as I am on a low income?

mumoverseas Wed 29-Oct-08 07:44:46

you need to pay the court fee when you issue the petition as they won't issue without it. It may be worth you contacting a family solicitor with a legal aid franchise to see if you would be eligible for 'legal help and assistance' a type of legal aid which would cover getting the divorce through.
Be careful ref the adultery as there is an absolute bar (ban) if you have known about it for more than 6 months and done nothing about it (ie not petitioned before) and it is not continuing. If it ended less than 6 months ago, thats fine, but if before, you may need to think about an unreasonable behaviour petition and obviously cite his affair as one of the particulars.

misscathcart Wed 29-Oct-08 07:51:35

I see, well it ended about 3 months ago - but I have no evidence of that. Is that going to be a problem?

FAQ Wed 29-Oct-08 07:54:14

sorry thread hi-jack - what happens if you don't know where your original marriage certificate is (as I'm not sure I do - although I guess it may turn up in the move......) - and you got married overseas and the likelyhood of getting a replacement is ermm - probably nil?

I know we have a photocopy around somewhere but as for the original........

mumoverseas Wed 29-Oct-08 08:05:44

misscathcart - no problem as it has been within the last 6 months and at the end of the day, you said he will consent. There is a specific acknowledgement of service form for adultery petitions and it will ask him various questions, one of which is 'do you admit the adultery'. Hopefully, he will answer yes! One word of warning, I would recommend that you don't name the third party (the other woman/tart/whatever you want to call her) as then she would become a party to the proceedings and would have to be served with the papers and file her own acknowledgement of service form. Far better to just put an un-named/unknown woman or a woman whose name you know but don't wish to name).

FAQ - no worries, free legal advice day today, I'm pissed off with something here and need to let off steam and this works for me! Ref marriage certificate, you really need the original or a certified copy. Unlikely the court will accept a photocopy. I have known cases where people who married abroad did manage to get copies but it isn't always straightforward. Also, if the marriage certificate is not in english, you will need to get a translation which will need to be filed (sent) at the Court with the divorce petition and fee when issued. If I was you, I'd get looking or start making enquiries where you married. If wedding abroad organised by a company maybe try getting in touch with them and see if they can help.

misscathcart Wed 29-Oct-08 08:09:45

thanks so much! i hope you feel better soon too!

FAQ Wed 29-Oct-08 09:01:13

oh blimey - it's going to be tricky - we got married in Zimbabwe.......so marriage Certificate in English, no companies involved - we were living there at the time so made sense to get married there.

I suppose exH may know how to get hold of another from their - but the likelyhood of getting hold of it is pretty slim really.

I think the copies I had are certified, although from quite a long time ago (ie I don't think we even see the person that certified them at the time)..

Still I have plenty of time, exH had agreed to go for unreasonable behaviour (filed by me) - but as I wasn't well with depression hadn't got round to it, and I realised the other day it's been just over 6 months so have another 18 months before we can get it sorted GAHHHH

mumoverseas Wed 29-Oct-08 10:51:10

FAQ, not sure what you mean about having to wait another 18 months? You can issue a petition on unreasonable behaviour at any time. Its only adultery that has an absolute bar that means if you've known about it for more than six months and done nothing about it and the adultery is no longer continuing then you can't petition on that basis. Think you may have misunderstood advice to misscathcart. You can issue a behaviour petition at anytime. Some of the particulars of behaviour can be quite general and a little while ago but it is preferable to have the last one a bit more recent. Presumably as you haven't sorted out your problems with your husband, there must be other incidents which you can rely on. You therefore don't have to wait another 18 months unless you think its preferable to go ahead on the basis of 2 years separation and consent (although please bear in mind that your husband can withdraw his consent at any time).
Ref the marriage certificate, you would need to check with the court office as to whether they think the copies you have would be acceptable (they may need to check with the District Judge). Failing that, you would need to contact the register office in Zimbabwe (perhaps via the British Embassy who may help) and see if they can obtain a copy.

FAQ Wed 29-Oct-08 11:57:16

oh - everything that I read said that (like the adultery) the unreasonable behaviour had to be within the last 6 months........which obviously it isn't as we've been split longer than that now.

I can't see him not giving his consent - he's already living with his NW grin

mumoverseas Wed 29-Oct-08 16:32:21

well if he is living with another woman, presumably he is committing adultery and therefore why not petition on that? That would be the easiest and most sensible option if he won't contest it and will admit the adultery although I'd recommend not naming the other woman. Even if the adultery has been ongoing for MORE than 6 months, if it is continuing, then you can petition on that ground

FAQ Wed 29-Oct-08 16:35:32

actually I discovered this afternoon (after I'd sent a Christening invite to him and his NW in the post blush) from the DS's that they're no longer together.

And if I petition on adultery - he'll petition me for the same as I've seen someone since we split too grin

Oh well - we're all amicable now, so I guess we'll just sit tight and wait for the 2yrs - and in the mean time try and find/get hold of a new marriage certificate.

MamaG Wed 29-Oct-08 16:36:07

Petition fee is now £300.00 and fee for Decree ABsolute is £40.00

if you're on a low income, you may well be entitled to Legal Aid and that will cover Court costs. Ring a Solicitor from here who does free initial interview and ask about Legal Aid. No point paying the Court fees if you don't have to.

mumoverseas Wed 29-Oct-08 16:42:15

£300! Bloody hell, thats gone up a bit! I remember the good old days when it was £80! I must be showing my age now!

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