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What you need to apply for

For formal separation you need to:

  • File a divorce petition - you have to apply to the court for permission to divorce, and show the reasons why you want the marriage to end.
  • Apply for a decree nisi - if your spouse agrees to the petition, you’ll get a document saying there’s no reason you can’t divorce.
  • Apply for a decree absolute - this legally ends your marriage. You need to wait 6 weeks after you get the decree nisi before you can apply.

Arranging Your Own Divorce

You may be able to arrange your own divorce if you agree on everything, namely:

  • the reasons for a divorce
  • how you’ll look after any children
  • how you’ll split up money, property and possessions

You will still need to get a judge to approve any consent order you might agree to and because a judge won’t approve an order that doesn’t comply with the law or is unfair to either of you, you may want legal advice and assistance with the drafting of the consent order.