Divorce is the process which legally ends a marriage.  The Petitioner is the party who commences the proceedings and the Respondent responds to them.

The procedure is as follows where (as in most cases) the divorce proceedings are not defended:

1. The marriage has “irretrievably broken down” to be supported by reliance on one of the following facts:

  • The Respondent has committed adultery and it is intolerable for the Petitioner to live with the Respondent;
  • The Respondent has behaved unreasonably and the Petitioner cannot be expected to continue living with them;
  • The Respondent has deserted the Petitioner;
    The parties have lived separate and apart for at least two years and both consent to the divorce;
  • The parties have lived separated and apart for at least five years.

2. The Petitioner’s Solicitor prepares The Divorce Petition and accompanying papers

3. The divorce papers are issued at Court and served on the Respondent

4. The Respondent acknowledges receipt by filing an Acknowledgement of Service at Court

5. The Petitioner files at Court a statement containing prescribed and applies for Decree Nisi

6. A District Judge considers the papers and if satisfied will list a date for the Decree Nisi to be pronounced

7. The Decree Nisi is pronounced and if relevant a Costs Order may be made

8. Six weeks after Decree Nisi the Petitioner can apply to Court for the Decree Absolute

9. The Decree Absolute is pronounced by the Court and the marriage is dissolved

NOTE: This is separate to resolving the financial matters of the divorce. The financial aspects may or may not have been resolved by the time Decree Absolute is pronounced.

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