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What happens after you apply

Your application will be checked. If it’s correct, you’ll be sent:

  • a notice that your application has been issued (sent out)

  • a copy of your application stamped by the divorce centre

  • a case number

This may take up to 10 days if you applied online or 1 month if you applied by post.

The court will send your husband or wife the divorce application and an ‘acknowledgement of service’ form. Your husband or wife will need to respond to your divorce application.

If you named someone your husband or wife committed adultery with, they’ll also be sent a copy of the application and be asked to respond.

Your husband or wife responds

The acknowledgement of service form asks your husband or wife if they:

  • agree with the divorce

  • intend to try to prevent the divorce (defend it)

  • object to paying the costs (if you’ve claimed them)

  • Your husband or wife must respond within 8 days.

If they agree with the divorce

You can continue with the divorce by applying for a decree nisi.

If they defend the divorce

Your husband or wife will have to complete an ‘answer to divorce’ form to say why they disagree with the divorce. They must do this within 28 days of getting the divorce application.

If they do not submit an ‘answer to divorce’ form, you can continue the divorce by applying for a decree nisi.

If they do submit an answer to divorce in time, you may have to go to court to discuss the case.