Undefended divorce timetable: what happens when?

Article reference: UK-IA-FAM15
| 3 min read

The times given for the actions the court takes are estimates only - the actual time very much depends on how busy your particular court is. If you feel that the time has been too long, you can always phone the court and ask what's happening. The court will always need to know your case number (number of matter) when you talk to them. They will tell you what this number is as soon as you have filed your first papers.

Net Lawman offers a full library of documents for divorce. This includes example letters and all the papers you will need during the process.

Step 1

Complete your 'divorce petition' (Form D8) and send these in duplicate together with a cheque for £550 and a cover letter to your nearest divorce county court.

Step 2

The court will give your case a number and inform you of that number. One copy of the petition and statement of arrangements will be sent to your partner together with an acknowledgment of service form. Approximate time: 2 weeks

Step 3

Your partner needs to complete and sign the acknowledgment of service form and return it to the court. Approximate time: 3 to 14 days

Step 4

The court will send a copy of the acknowledgment of service form to you. Approximate time: 2 weeks.

If you don't hear from them in this time, check with the court. If your partner hasn't returned the acknowledgment of service form within two weeks of it being sent to him/her, you may need to apply for bailiff service (Form D89).

Step 5

You will need to complete the application for directions for trial (Form D11) and affidavit in support Form D80 (A, B, C, D or E) and swear the affidavit. You send these forms to the court. Approximate time: up to you

Step 6

The court will arrange a date for your decree nisi and sent you a note with that date. Approximate time to decree nisi: 4 weeks.

Step 7

Once the decree nisi is pronounced and you have been sent a copy, you can submit a consent order about your finances to the court. 6 weeks and 1 day after the date of the decree nisi, you can apply for your divorce to be made absolute (final).

This is (Form D36).

Step 8

The court will make the decree nisi absolute and send you a copy. Approximate time: 2 weeks. If you have submitted a consent order, they may also make that and send it to you.

Your divorce is then final and you are free to remarry should you wish to do so.

Important note about your will

When you were married, your old will became void. This does not happen on divorce or separation. If you never had a will anyway, maybe it is time that you did. We provide a range of template will documents to suit everyone, with loads of advice and over thirty easy-to-read free information articles about aspects of wills and tax.

You can find information on making a will here, and the documents themselves here.


Thousands of people like you manage their own divorce at a very low cost every year. It is possible to do so and not to use a solicitor, especially if your split is amicable.

Your next step is to download the appropriate set of documents (they are free) and start completing them.

Please note that the information provided on this page:

  • Does not provide a complete or authoritative statement of the law;
  • Does not constitute legal advice by Net Lawman;
  • Does not create a contractual relationship;
  • Does not form part of any other advice, whether paid or free.
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