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The document that starts the divorce is called a petition. The law in this country still requires one spouse to petition against the other, even if both of you agree that there should be a divorce. You will need to provide your original (or an official copy) marriage certificate to file the petition and also an approved translation of what it says if it is in a language other than English. There is a court fee payable of £550 to start the process.

To start a divorce, you must file a petition at court. The petition is a form that gives the court information about you and your spouse, and tells the court that you feel your marriage has irretrievably broken down. You must briefly set out evidence that your marriage has broken down by supplying certain details in one of the following five categories:
– that your spouse has committed adultery
– that your spouse has behaved unreasonably
– that your spouse has deserted you for two years
– that you have lived apart for two years and your spouse consents to the divorce, or
– that you have lived apart for five years

The person starting the divorce is called the petitioner and the other spouse is called the respondent.

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