From the 7th August a new form D8 divorce petition is available for use in issuing divorce proceedings. In due course no doubt divorces will be issued into Court online.
Whilst the new form of petition can be used from the 7th August it will not be mandatory until the 4th September. The best advice is to use the new divorce petition now to avoid any problems in the transitional period.
The good news is that the new divorce petition is in plain English and is extremely user friendly and will be of assistance to members of the public who want to issue their own divorce proceedings without the assistance of a solicitor.
Beware however that there are still pitfalls in preparing and issuing your own divorce proceedings and it may well be best to obtain the advice of a solicitor and indeed instruct a solicitor to prepare and issue divorce proceedings.
The bad news is that the new divorce petition requires that you disclose details of a co-respondent when you make an allegation of adultery. This is contrary to the Family Law protocol and will cause difficulties potentially for the progress of the divorce petition through the Court.
Firstly, the co-respondent must be served with the petition and there may well be issues as to whether the co-respondent is to be partially responsible for the divorce costs of the petitioning spouse.
It is our view that this requirement will be swiftly amended but for the moment co-respondents need to be named.
You may think it is easier to ignore the requirement that the co-respondent be named, however the Court will not be happy if you are aware of the co-respondent’s details and have omitted those details in the petition just to suit your purposes.
Almy & Thomas can advise you on all pitfalls in respect of divorce proceedings and lead you by the hand through matrimonial finance and children issues.