To apply for a divorce you must send a Divorce Petition and your original Marriage Certificate to the County Court. There is a Court fee payable of £300.00 but you can apply for an exemption from paying this fee depending on your income and capital. If you have children who are under 16 or under 18 and at school or college or training you must also fill in and send to the Court a form called a Statement of Arrangements for Children form.
The Divorce Petition must state that the marriage has irretrievably broken down by proving one of the following facts:
1. That the other person has committed adultery
2. That the other person has behaved in a way that is unreasonable
3. That you have lived separately for at least two years and you both agree to a divorce
4. That your husband/wife has deserted you for at least two years
5. That you have lived separately for at least five years
The Court sends the papers to your husband/wife with a form which must be filled in and returned. On the form the other person states whether they will defend the divorce. If the divorce is not defended you must then swear a statement which is then sent to the Court and if approved the Court then sets a date for the pronouncement of the Decree Nisi. Six weeks after the Decree Nisi has been pronounced you can apply for the Decree Absolute.