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JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3366
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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Thank you. I'm searching for an advise how to start my

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hi there, thank you. I'm searching for an advise how to start my divorce process correctly
Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: not yet
Assistant: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: Dorset BH23 3FD
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: not sure, I'd like to know the first steps to be taken
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello, should I give more details about my case here? Thank you.

Hello, thank you for the question.

I am a UK qualified solicitor and happy to help.

You would first need to decide on one of the ground for divorce: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, separation by consent after 2 years, separation without consent 5 years, or desertion.

You then need to fill in form D8 (see attached) and send to your local family court in Dorset with a fee of £550.00 payable to HMCTS. The court will then serve the divorce petition upon your ex who has to then respond to it with an acknowledgment of service, either agreeing to the divorce or contesting it.

Have you spoken to your ex about this yet and also have to talked about finances (in case you want a financial settlement).

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a star rating (there should be a row of 1-5 stars at the top of your screen to allow you to do this), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello Jim, thanks a lot for the details. May I ask your advise about which ground to be chosen?
It was my second marriage, I've got 2 kids from my first marriage who both live with me.
My second marriage lasted only 1.5 years by two reasons actually: 1st is that my husband didn't support me in the regular household payments, all expenses were on me. Second - they were really struggling with my daughter, no any violation, of course, but the scandals, tensions etc... the climate in the family became really really bad.

Thanks, ***** ***** still live with you or did he move out?

From the sound of it I would base the divorce on unreasonable behaviour.

Would he agree to the divorce?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
He moved out in the beginning of May. Almost 6 month ago. I don't have doubts I'd like to divorce and my daughter feels really better since that moment. Not sure if he would agree to the divorce as he still thinks it's all was good and can be reverted back.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The complexity of the case is also that he's the citizen of Russian Federation and he returned to Moscow in May. I can try to find his address, but not sure if he can be easily reachable

Thanks, ***** ***** agreed to him moving out, you would need to wait another 1 year and 6 months - but you could petition for divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

Do you have his email and does he maintain contact with the children?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I do have his email, indeed, and the phone number. He doesn't maintain any contacts with children. He's reachable via WhatsApp/Facebook/Phone. Will the petition for divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour require any supportive documents/witnesses ? How the Court makes a decision whether the behaviour was really unreasonable? And if I try to agree with him about the divorce - will that help?

If he agrees to the petition then the it would not be contested and you would not have to prove the unreasonable behaviour. If he contested it then you would need evidence in due course and if the court agrees to the unreasonable behaviour and it agrees you should be divorced then decree nisi will be pronounced.

It would definitely help if he agreed to the divorce and also, as you have kids, to child maintenance (and if you want to claim money from him for yourself, spousal maintenance).

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I don't want any maintenance from him. The most important is to find the easiest option.
So, if he agrees to the petition - then should it be from both of us to the court or it can be resolved by the lawyer?
And in case he doesn't agree, the options are: 1. To wait until 2 years after separation - will it be quick and easy afterwards?
2. To use the grounds of unreasonable behaviour and to be prepared to provide evidences. Right? Will the court ask my daughter in this case? Regarding no houselhold payment support - would it be enough to provide the bank statements with all payments covered from my bank account and no incoming payments from his side?

If he agrees to the petition, you would not need a lawyer and can divorce yourself quite easily.

If he agrees to the petition, ask him if he would pay the fee of £550.00 (respondents are usually ordered to pay).

You then send the petition to the court and await decree nisi. You then apply for decree absolute after 43 days of the decree nisi (6 weeks and 1 day). However, none of this would take in to account finances so you should ask your husband whether he would agree to maintenance - if so, a consent order can be approved by the court between decree nisi and decree absolute, thereby binding the parties to the agreement.

If he doesn't agree to unreasonable behaviour, you could wait until the 2 years and then the divorce would go through on that basis instead. Or you can use unreasonable behaviour and only if he contests the divorce would you need the evidence.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ok thanks a lot!
Is that ok if I ask more details about the decree nisi and decree absolute? Is the decree nisi sort of preliminary decision which can be appealed?
And returning to the unreasonable behaviour - may I mention both reasons in the details: no household support and no contact with children? This is the reality, but what is better and more important for the Court?
And how the court will try to contact him to check whether he contests or not? By post?
Thanks again.

The decree nisi is just the court agreeing that you have grounds to divorce - at this stage you are still married. It is only when decree absolute is pronounced at the court that the marriage is then legally dissolved.

Yes, you can say that for unreasonable behaviour - lack of financial and household support and no contact with the children.

Yes, by post but he should give an address for service - you can use email but for service of documents you need his address unless you apply for service to be dispensed with as he is out of the country

I would be grateful if you would accept and give me a rating for my time.

Many thanks,


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
indeed, thanks a lot Jim! Will give a rating immediately.May I only ask about the 'service to be dispensed' ? What does it mean? How this will work?

Of course,

If your husband was a foreign national or there is no way of finding them or any relative, then you can apply to the court to dispense with service of the divorce petition.

However there are additional costs for doing this, and every time you make an application to the court it costs an extra £50.00 over and above the initial £550 for the divorce petition issue fee.

The court would want you to make efforts to trace him beforehand though. The attached document would need to be filed as well as the D8 divorce petition.

I hope this helps

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks a mil Jim once again! Let me rate the time, it was very useful. Can I still use my subscription if I have any more questions?

Yes of course, not a problem. You can also request me as one of the experts as I am available 7 days a week on here

JimLawyer and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Perfect! Thanks very much! Have a nice day!