A guide to Civil Partnership Dissolution from HMC
I want to get a dissolution What do I do?
How can I get information or advice?
For free legal information, help and advice contact Community Legal Service Direct on 0845 345 4 345 or at www.clsdirect.org.uk You can also seek help from a Citizens Advice Bureau or Consumer Advice Centre.
What should I do before I start a dissolution petition?
Read leaflet number D193 (About dissolution). If you have children you should also read leaflet D195 (Children and dissolution).
You cannot start a petition for dissolution unless you have been in a civil partnership for more than one year.
If you still want to start a petition, read this leaflet carefully. Make sure you have the information and forms it says you will need and a copy of your civil partnership certificate which is not a photocopy.
Where do I start my dissolution petition?
You can start your petition in any civil partnership proceedings county court, or in the Principal Registry in London. There is a list of all civil partnership proceedings county courts in leaflet D193.
The addresses and telephone numbers of these are listed in the telephone directory under Courts.
When are civil partnership proceedings county courts open?
Monday to Friday, between 10am and 4pm.
The Principal Registry is open Monday to Friday, between 10am and 4.30pm.
How much will it cost?
You may have to pay a court fee. Please ask the court staff for a copy of the leaflet EX50 - County Court Fees. This lists the most common family fees. It is also available on our website www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk
How can I pay the fee?
By cash, postal order or cheque. Make your cheque or postal order payable to Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS). Please note that courts cannot accept payments by debit or credit cards.
Does the fee always have to be paid?
No. Your financial situation may mean you do not have to pay a fee. The combined booklet and application form EX160A - Court Fees - do I have to pay them? provides further information on this.
Court staff can provide you with a copy of the EX160A. It is also available on our website at www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk You will have to make a separate application for each fee that you would otherwise have to pay.
What information and documents do I need?
• Your own full name and address.
• Your civil partner’s full name and address.
• A copy of your civil partnership certificate which is not a photocopy.
• The names and dates of birth of any living children you have, no matter how old
Which forms will I need?
You will need three copies of form D508 (dissolution petition).
If you have children you will also need three copies of form D8A (statement of arrangements for the children).
One copy of these forms is for you to keep, one copy is for the court, and one copy is for the court to send to your civil partner.
A copy of the form D508 notes to help you fill in your petition.
If you think you may not have to pay a fee you will need the combined booklet and application form EX160A - Court Fees - do I have to pay them?
Civil Partnership Proceedings county courts have all these forms. They will give them to you free. These forms are also available on our website at
Will I be able to fill in the forms myself?
The form notes should help you fill in your own forms.
If you do need help filling in the forms, a Citizens Advice Bureau will help.
If you are receiving Legal Help from a Solicitor under the Community Legal Service Fund, he or she will help you fill in the forms.
What will happen when I have left the forms with the court?
You will be sent a form D9H (notice of issue of petition). It will tell you when the petition was sent to the respondent. It will be a receipt for your fee (if you have paid one) and will tell you your dissolution case number. It also tells you what to do if the respondent does not reply to your petition.
The court will post a copy of your petition with form D510(6) (acknowledgement of service) to the respondent (with a copy of the proposed arrangements for any children).
The respondent has eight days to return the acknowledgement of service. The eight days start on the day after they receive the petition.
How will I know when the respondent gets the petition?
They will return their D510(6) (acknowledgement of service) to the court. The court will send you a copy.
What will happen if the respondent does not receive the petition?
If the address you gave for the respondent is wrong, or they have moved, the Post Office will return the petition and other forms to the court.
The court will tell you if this happens. They will send you form D9A (notice of non-service of petition).
If you want to carry on with your dissolution you must find out the correct address and write and let the court know. The court will post the petition and other forms to the new address.
The time for returning the acknowledgement of service will be longer if the respondent lives outside England and Wales.
What will the respondent do when they get the petition?
They may do one of three things:
• ignore the petition and not bother to return the form D510(6) (acknowledgement of service) to the court;
• fill in the form D510(6) saying that they intend to contest your petition and /or the court’s jurisdiction and return it to the court; or
• fill in the form D510(6) saying that they agree with the petition and return it to the court.
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Last day for respondent to reply
Respondent served with Petition
D194 I want to get a dissolution - what do I do? (12 .05) HMCS
If form D510(6) is returned to the court by the respondent, the court will send you a copy. Leaflet D196 (The respondent has replied to my petition - what must I do next?) will tell you what to do next.
What will happen if the respondent does not return the form D510(6) (acknowledgement of service) to the court?
When eight days have passed since the petition was sent, you should get two copies of form D89 (request for service by court bailiff), from the court.
Fill in the forms D89 and return them to the court. Send them with a photograph or written description of the respondent and a fee. The court staff will tell you how much it is.
The county court bailiff will be asked to deliver the petition and other documents to the respondent personally.
If you have been sent copies of the respondent’s form D510(6) (acknowledgement of service), read leaflet D196 (The respondent has replied to my petition - what must I do next?). It will tell you what to do next.
Note: If there is a co-respondent to your petition, the information in this leaflet about respondents also applies to the co-respondent.