On 7th August 2017 a new Divorce Petition went into circulation and can now be used by anyone applying as a Petitioner for a divorce, judicial separation or to end a civil partnership.


The new style Divorce Petition will be mandatory from the 4th September 2017 onwards.  However, Petitioners will still be able to issue the old style Petition upto and including the 3rd September 2017 and any old style Petitions submitted to court on or after 4th September 2017 will not be accepted. 

Welcomed by Divorce Lawyers

The changes to the Divorce Petition have been welcomed by practitioners, but as ever with anything there are a few areas of improvement. The new style Divorce Petition now needs to be verified by a Statement of Truth. The layout is straight forward, requiring, save where necessary, very few words. It is a precursor to the plans for online Divorce  and aims to make it more accessible to the lay person in plain English.

What are the New Changes?

The new Divorce Petition:

  • Makes reference to both the Applicant and the Petitioner which may cause some confusion.  However, these legal terms mean the same thing, the person applying for the Divorce.

  • Contains a specific confidentiality clause which allows a party to withhold their contact details when filing a confidential form.

  • includes individual boxes for recording Solicitors details.

  • amends the jurisdiction clause which now includes all the legal grounds, rather than simply accepting that the parties are habitually resident in England and Wales.

  • includes summary notes which explain the circumstances where the court accepts that a couple might be living apart even while living under the same roof.  This makes the petition much easier to understand.

  • includes a revised "Prayer for financial claims" which removes the specific list and abbreviates the claims of the Petitioner and those made on behalf of any children.

  • includes a "Statement of Truth" in place of the signature that was traditionally used by the Petitioner (or a Solicitor on the Petitioner’s behalf).

  • provides clarity regarding when costs orders can be made.

  • removes the need to include the names and dates of birth of any children from the Divorce Petition, bringing it into line with current legislation.

We Can Help

At MW Solicitors, Our Mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including those who are going through a divorce or legal separation.  Our solicitors are experts in all aspects of Divorce and Legal Separation including Mediation and Ancillary Relief. 

If you have any questions or would like legal advice on the impact of the changes to the Divorce Petition, call our Divorce and Separation team, today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback.

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