It’s useful to have a good knowledge of the main forms and documents you’ll need when going through the divorce process. Keep reading for your complete guide to divorce forms, including Form E, Form A, Form D8 and Form C100.
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What are the main forms/paperwork required in a divorce?
The main forms that are completed before or during a divorce. Some are mandatory (form D8) and some are required for specific purposes:
- Form D8 (including joint application) (divorce, dissolution or (judicial) separation application) – the form that you complete when you want to apply for a divorce
- Form D8B (answer to divorce application) – this form is completed by the recipient if they wish to dispute the divorce application
- Form D10 (response to a divorce, dissolution or (judicial) separation application) – the form that is sent to the spouse of the applicant when the court receives the divorce petition
- Form A (application for a financial order) – the form you complete when you are applying for financial provision, such as a financial order
- Form E (financial statement) – the form that details all your income, expenditure, assets and liabilities when applying for a financial order
- Form C100 (application for child arrangements order) – the form that is completed when you want to create legally binding rules regarding the care of children
- Form FM1 – a form that confirms you have attended a mediation session or that mediation is not applicable in your case.
What documents could you bring to your meeting with a solicitor?
Being properly prepared for your divorce or dissolution will help you navigate the process. If you have arranged an initial meeting with a solicitor to discuss your case, it will help if you take along the following documents:
- Full name and address of both parties
- Names, dates of birth and school details for all your children
- Your marriage certificate or a certified copy (can be obtained from the Register of Births Deaths and Marriages local to your wedding)
- Employment details
- Financial details, such as: income, value of any property, remaining mortgages/loans, any assets including savings and pensions, any debts including credit cards and loans
- Details of your current expenditure to give your solicitor an idea of your lifestyle
- Details of any previous divorces or court orders if you have been married before.
The more information that you can provide to your solicitor at the initial meeting, the better. This helps your solicitor to understand your situation and provide advice.
It’s recommended that you don’t take young children to meetings with your solicitor. As well as making it difficult for you to completely focus on the matters in hand, there may be issues discussed that you don’t want them to hear.
Documents you will need – your original marriage certificate
When you apply for a divorce or dissolution you must send your original marriage/civil partnership certificate.
If you don’t have it, you must apply to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages closest to the location of your wedding for a ‘certified copy’. The court will not accept a photocopy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate, even if it has been certified by a solicitor.
If you married or entered into a civil partnership outside England and Wales, you will need to obtain a certified copy from the country where you got married. You’ll also need to file a translation if it is in a foreign language – consider speaking to the English embassy of the country where you got married/entered into your civil partnership for assistance.
If you are seeking a divorce, dissolution or (judicial) separation you will have to complete Form D8. The information that you supply on this form will be used by the court to determine whether you can legally end your marriage or civil partnership.
The D8 form has 10 sections which you must complete.
What are the Form D8 sections?
Section 1 – your application
What you’re applying to do, what supporting documents are you providing, and whether it is a joint application.
Section 2 – about you
Your personal details such as name, address and date of birth, and details of your solicitor (if you have one).
Section 3 – about the respondent (or applicant 2)
Your partner’s details such as name, address and date of birth and their solicitor’s details (if you know this).
Section 4 – details of your marriage or civil partnership
When and where your marriage took place.
Section 5 – jurisdiction (why the court can deal with your case)
You must confirm some details about your marriage, so the court can determine it has jurisdiction to deal with your case.
Section 6 – Statement of irretrievable breakdown (the legal reason for your divorce of dissolution)
You must state that your marriage/civil partnership has broken down irretrievably in order for the court to make an order. In a joint application, applicant 1 and applicant 2 each makes a statement by ticking the box that applies to them:
‘I confirm that my marriage or civil partnership has broken down irretrievably’
Section 7 – Existing or previous court cases
Here you will need to confirm whether there are any existing or previous court proceedings relating to your marriage or civil partnership or affecting its validity (including any existing or concluded court proceedings overseas). If so, you must provide the case number and a summary of the existing or previous court proceedings.
Section 8 – Dividing your money and property (orders which are sought)
In this section you can set out which financial orders (if any) you are looking for. You can apply for orders for yourself, and/or any children.
Section 9 – Summary of what is being applied for (prayer)
This is where you can set out what you, and in the case of a joint application, your spouse are applying for. This includes that the marriage/civil partnership is dissolved and any financial orders.
Section 10 – Statement of Truth
This sets out that all the information you have given in the divorce application is true.
Returning form D8
When you have completed the form, you must return it to the court. You must include:
- Three copies of the D8 form
- An original or certified copy of your marriage certificate
- The court fee.
You use this form to tell the court about the arrangements you have made with your spouse for the care of your children.
You can tell the court where you intend that the children will live, provide details about their schooling, supply contact proposals, and outline any health problems or special needs that your children have.
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What if my ex-spouse doesn’t agree to the divorce? More about Form D8B
If you have received a Form D8 divorce application and you want to dispute the divorce, you can only do so on limited grounds using form D8B.
You would use this form if you do not agree that the courts have jurisdiction to deal with the proceedings, if you can prove the marriage or civil partnership was never valid or if the marriage or civil partnership has already legally ended. These are the only grounds for disputing a divorce application.
There is a court fee for making this application.
If your spouse/civil partner has filed for divorce and you live in England or Wales, you will receive a copy of the D8 form which shows that they have completed the divorce/dissolution application.
Alongside this you will receive another form, D10 – Respond to a divorce, dissolution or (judicial) separation application.
You must complete Form D10 and return it to the divorce centre that issued it, within 14 days of receipt. Even if you don’t agree with the divorce and you wish to dispute it (only possible on very limited grounds), you or your solicitor must still return the form.
When you’re seeking a divorce/civil dissolution, splitting your financial arrangements can often be one of the most difficult issues.
Whether you think you can reach an agreement with your spouse about how your assets should be divided, or you want the court to make the decision for you, providing honest and frank disclosure of your finances is a key part of the process.
If you want to apply to the court about financial matters arising from a divorce (or dissolution) then you would use Form E.
Form E is a detailed document which is used to outline your financial position. It can also be used by solicitors as a means of ensuring that both parties give the same amount of detail about their finances even when there are no court proceedings.
Form E requires you to provide details of your:
- Income – income from all sources
- Assets – including property, savings and other investments
- Pension income
- Future outgoings
Alongside Form E you should supply documents which evidence the figures you have detailed. You’ll need to provide 12 months of statements for all your bank accounts and documents detailing all of your savings, plus assets such as any property, insurance, pension or endowments.
When is Form E required?
If you are applying to the court to deal with your financial matters, then you will need to complete Form E.
If you are hoping to negotiate a settlement without going to court, Form E is still a useful tool to highlight all the elements that need to be considered before you reach a financial settlement. Your solicitor (or your spouse’s solicitor) may ask you to complete the form ‘informally’.
What are the Form E sections?
Form E is quite long and contains 28 pages before you start adding in your evidence to support the figures. Information you will have to provide includes:
Section 1 – general information
Your personal details such as name, address and date of birth.
Section 2 – financial details
You will have to provide details of:
- Property and other personal assets such as savings, investments and personal effects
- Business assets and directorships
- Income from employment
- Income from other sources (self-employment, partnership, investments)
- Your income needs
- Your capital needs
- Significant financial changes likely to occur in the next 12 months
- The orders you are seeking.
If you or your spouse has a new partner since you separated, you will be required to disclose some information about their financial position if you are aware of it.
You will then have to sign a statement of truth to confirm that the information you have provided is correct.
Sharing full details of your assets with your spouse is necessary so that you can come to an agreement about how to fairly split your finances. If you reach a financial settlement and one or both of you have failed to fully disclose your financial situation, the case could be re-opened, and the financial settlement may be altered. If you’ve not been honest, you could find yourself paying legal fees and court costs on top of a less favourable settlement
How can I make sure I have completed Form E correctly?
If you have failed to complete Form E in full, or the form is poorly drafted, you may be asked for additional details in a ‘schedule of deficiencies’. If this happens you can incur additional costs.
Failing to complete Form E correctly can also raise suspicions that one party is not being frank and honest in their disclosure and is trying to conceal assets. Your solicitor will advise you on the level of detail required before you submit it.
It’s important that you provide:
- The current value of any assets, including investments and property
- Details and statements for all and every bank or savings account held
- Up-to-date mortgage redemption statements showing the amount owed and a current list of all liabilities
- Details of any assets worth more than £500
- Full details of all pensions, alongside a cash equivalent
- All sources of income – from employment, self-employment or investments.
What if my spouse refuses to complete Form E?
The front page of Form E outlines the consequences for not completing the form:
“You have a duty to the court to give a full, frank and clear disclosure of all your financial and other relevant circumstances. A failure to give full and accurate disclosure may result in any order the court makes being set aside. If you are found to have been deliberately untruthful, criminal proceedings may be brought against you for fraud under the Fraud Act 2006.”
The court will typically give your spouse an opportunity to fully complete the form. However, if they decide they have wilfully breached the order they could be sentenced to a period of imprisonment.
If you and your spouse cannot reach agreement about how you split your finances (through lawyer-to-lawyer negotiation or mediation) you may have to ask the court to decide for you.
To do this, you have to complete Form A. This form should be completed if you are applying for financial provision, such as a financial order or other financial remedy.
Form A and the court fee should be sent to the court that is dealing with the divorce. It can be sent at any time after the divorce petition has been filed. After it is received, the court will issue proceedings.
This can be a lengthy process and various things need to happen before the final hearing. There are plenty of opportunities to negotiate and agree a settlement prior to the final hearing.
When you are trying to resolve issues relating to your children, you may consider engaging in mediation (unless there are exceptional circumstances). Mediation can be an effective way to resolve disputes in this type of case.
If this is unsuccessful, or mediation is not an option, then a C100 form is the court form used to apply for custody of your children. If you want to apply for a residency order for your children, you will use the C100 form.
What can the C100 form be used for?
The C100 form can be used for the following types of court order:
- Child Arrangement Order – an order that covers your child’s residency and contact. This order determines where your child lives and also covers who your child spends time with (this was previously known as residence and contact orders).
- Specific Issue Order – an order that gives direction in respect to a specific issue of parental accountability. Examples include whether your child should change their name and decisions relating to their education.
- Prohibited Steps Order – an order that prevents a parent from making a decision about your child’s upbringing. Examples include taking your child abroad or preventing someone from having contact with your child.
How do you use a C100 form to get your order approved?
You and your ex-partner complete the C100 form, ticking the box that confirms you want to legalise your contact order. There is no requirement to prove that you have attended mediation.
You then send the C100 form to the court along with the court fee. There is normally no hearing; instead a judge will approve your consent paper and make it legally enforceable if they find your decisions are in your child’s best interests.
For certain applications to the court, you must first attend a Mediation and Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). Form FM1 must be completed, except in certain exceptional circumstances (see below).
The FM1 form should be completed and signed by both yourself and your mediator. This confirms that you have been present at MIAM meetings and provides evidence to the court that such meetings have been completed.
If you have not attended MIAMs then the mediator will complete part 2 of the FM1 form to explain why.
In certain, exceptional, cases, there is no requirement to undertake MIAMs meetings. For example, it could be that there is no dispute to resolve. It may also be because there has been an allegation of domestic violence which has then led to the police taking action, where there are child protection issues, or when parties cannot be located.
Do you need help with your divorce?
Get in touch now with one of our panel of specialist local family solicitors.
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