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 (divorce petition) – the form that you complete when you want to apply for a divorce
- Form D8B (answer to divorce petition) – this form is completed by the recipient if they do not agree to the divorce
- Form D10 (acknowledgement of service) – 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 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 you must send your original marriage 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 certificate, even if it has been certified by a solicitor.
If you married 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 for assistance.
If you are seeking a divorce, you will have to complete a 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 11 sections which you must complete.
What are the Form D8 sections?
Section 1 – your application
What you’re applying to do, and what supporting documents are you providing.
Section 2 – about you
Your personal details such as name, address and date of birth, and details of your solicitor.
Section 3 – about your partner
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
You must confirm some details about your marriage, so the court can determine it has jurisdiction to deal with your case.
Section 6 – the facts
Here, you must give the reasons for your divorce. There are only five reasons for which a divorce can be granted legally:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Desertion for at least two years
- Separation for at least two years (and your partner consents to the divorce)
- Separation for at least five years.
You only have to tick one reason, although you can tick more if you wish. You must then provide supporting information in section 7 (see below).
Section 7 – statement of case
Here, you provide supporting information for the reason you chose in section 6.
For example, if your reason(s) for divorce include separation, you must provide the date on which you concluded your marriage or civil partnership was over, and the date on which you stopped living together as a couple.
If your reason(s) for divorce include adultery, behaviour or desertion, you’ll need to give some details in the space provided on the form.
In adultery cases, you don’t have to name the person with whom your spouse/civil partner committed adultery. However, if you do choose to name them, you will also have to complete section 8.
In the majority of cases, the reason chosen is ‘unreasonable behaviour’. This reason inherently attributes blame to one spouse (because just one spouse’s unreasonable behaviour must be documented), so where possible it is wise for the couple to discuss these reasons before completing form D8 so neither party feels wronged.
The reasons can be unconfrontational, such as no longer having the same interests, or being too focused on work. If the divorce went to court, these reasons would have no bearing on any financial settlement or on any children arrangements (assuming the unreasonable behaviour wasn’t directly related to the couple’s finances or children).
Section 8 – adultery cases only
You must complete this section if you have named the party your partner committed adultery with. You will need the name and address of this person.
If the other person is named, then they will usually become a party to the court case and be sent copies of the petition.
Generally speaking, you should only consider naming the other party if your divorce case is likely to be disputed. Otherwise, it’s usual to let them remain anonymous.
Section 9 – existing court cases
This section asks you to identify if there are there any existing or previous court proceedings relating to your marriage/civil partnership, property or children.
Section 10 – dividing money and property
When you divorce there will often be a need to split financial assets. It is often preferable (and cheaper) to speak to your spouse and agree how to divide your assets between you.
If you can’t decide, you can ask the court to make an award. Section 10 lets you apply for a financial order to cover yourself, your children, or both.
Section 11 – the ‘prayer’
This is a summary of what you have applied for. You must sign and date a statement of truth confirming that the information you have provided is correct.
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 and you want to challenge the divorce, you can do so using form D8B.
You would use this form if you do not agree that your marriage has failed, or if there are discrepancies on the D8 form.
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 petition. Alongside this you will receive another form, D10 – Acknowledgment of Service.
You must complete Form D10 and return it to the divorce centre that issued it, by the date shown (usually within eight days). Even if you don’t agree with the divorce and you wish to challenge it, you or your solicitor must still return the form.
One reason that you might defend the divorce case is so that you can initiate your own divorce proceedings. You might do this if you strongly disagree with the grounds for divorce and you wish to start divorce proceedings of your own.
Alternatively, you may agree that a divorce is necessary, but you may want to deny the allegations made (such as adultery). In this case, you might answer using wording such as: “I do not admit to the alleged behaviour but I will not be defending the petition.”
When you’re seeking a divorce, 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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