How to file for divorce

Filing for divorce can be done either yourself or through a solicitor.

The Divorce Club founders did both!  Lucy filed hers through a solicitor, Isabelle filed hers herself.

Lucy:  As soon as I went to the solicitors, I felt a weight come off my shoulders, a layer of admin I didn’t have to worry about because someone had my back for me.  It was certainly not cheap but I knew that I wasn’t going to make any monumental mistakes and I didn’t have to suddenly become a legal expert – particularly as I was an emotional wreck at the time.

Isabelle: I filed my form myself and saved myself a lot of money in legal fees but perhaps would have got more if I had had an aggressive lawyer.  However, it meant that it was over faster and with less arguing.  The facts of my divorce were pretty straightforward and so I wasn’t afraid to do it myself. Plus I could always have sought legal help if the situation had changed.  I made mistakes on the form, but it wasn’t the end of the world. The form just got sent back and I made amendments.  

Points to know before you file for divorce:

  • You must have been married for at least a year.
  • You (or your partner) must be resident in the UK.
  • You must have grounds for divorce (a valid reason).  For more about grounds of divorce read this article, or watch this video.

Isabelle:  How to File for Divorce yourself

 

  1. Work out which ground for divorce you are going to use.
  2. Get hold of a D8 divorce form here.
  3. Fill it out CAREFULLY – try not to make mistakes like me!  But ultimately don’t worry if you do, correcting them is still a lot cheaper than a solictor.  Then send it to your local court. To find your local court click here.
  4. Your spouse will have to sign to agree to the divorce.
  5. First step done.  There are still a few more to go, but you’re on your way.  For the next step go to “The Divorce Process

 

 

Lucy: How to File for Divorce with a solicitor

  1. Find a good solicitor.  Most people look for recommendations but I didn’t know anyone who was divorced so I looked on the Law Society’s search tool.
  2. Book in a time to see them.  Some offer a free consultation – bonus.  Mine didn’t but she was great so never mind.
  3. Check to see if you need to bring anything such as ID – your passport, proof of address etc. and dig it out.  Write a list of questions if there is anything you want to ask.  Don’t rely on your memory.
  4. Turn up.  Don’t be late – you pay for their time whether you waste it or not.
  5. Your solicitor will file your divorce for you and advise you on next steps.
  6. Wait for bill.

Have we missed something?  Tell us about how to file a divorce from your perspective in the comments or forum.

For more divorce advice click here.

 

Lucy Davis is a co-founder of divorceclub.com and a TV Producer. She divorced 7 years ago. She is a passionate advocate for exploring the potential for change and creativity that can result from the trauma of divorce.

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