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Introduction >> Dissolving The Marriage

The Marriage

  The first element of divorce is the legal process through which the marriage is dissolved. This process is usually fairly straight forward, inexpensive and not contested.
Step 1  

Petition For

  The first step in the divorce process is for the husband or wife (the ‘Petitioner’) to apply (or ‘petition’) for a divorce. The grounds for divorce must be stated: unreasonable behaviour, adultery, separation or dessertion.
Step 2  

Acknowledgement Of Service

  The spouse who receives the petition is referred to from this point on as the ‘Respondent’. They must acknowledge the petition. They choose whether to accept or contest the divorce and whether to admit to, or contest, the grounds stated.
Step 3

Obtain Decree

  Once the petition has been acknowledged the court can issue the Decree Nisi. The Decree Nisi must be in place before any financial orders are made by the court. Six weeks after the date of pronouncement of Decree Nisi, the Petitioner can ask for a Decree Absolute.
Step 4

Obtain Decree

  The Decree Absolute is the final certificate that legally dissolves the marriage. There is often a considerable delay between Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute while financial and childcare arrangements are negotiated.