If your spouse/civil partner has filed for divorce and you live in England or Wales, you will receive a copy of Form D8 that they have completed (the divorce petition) and 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 disagree with the divorce and wish to fight it, you (or your solicitor) must still return the form.
Tips for completing Form D10
Form D10 is fairly simple to fill in, as it is essentially just a response from you to say that you know your spouse/civil partner has started divorce proceedings. However, you may need a little guidance with a few of the questions, so these tips should help.
Who is the Respondent and who is the Petitioner?
Wherever you see the word ‘Respondent’, this refers to you. The Petitioner is your spouse/civil partner who is requesting the divorce.
What if I want to defend the divorce?
Question 4 asks this. If you really think you should not divorce and want to contest this in court, you can say so here. However, it’s rare for people to do this.
Another reason why you might defend this divorce case is so that you can initiate your own divorce proceedings, and so become the Petitioner. You might do this if you strongly disagree with the grounds for divorce and wish to start divorce proceedings of your own. This may lead to a more protracted and expensive divorce process.
What if I consent to the divorce but disagree with the reasons given?
You may agree that a divorce is necessary, but want to deny the allegations made (such as adultery). In this case, you might answer question 5 as follows: ‘I do not admit to the alleged behaviour but I will not be defending the petition.’
Am I being asked to pay all the costs of the divorce?
Question 6 asks you, ‘Even if you do not intend to defend the case do you object to paying the costs of the proceedings?’ Consult the copy of Form D8 that was sent to you, and turn to section 11. In point 11.2 you can see whether your spouse/civil partner has requested that you pay divorce costs. If they have, and you object, you can answer, ‘I object to paying the costs of the proceedings’ and give your reason(s).
If your spouse has not made this request, you can answer, ‘No claim is made in the petition.’
What does ‘resident’ and ‘domiciled’ mean?
Question 1B asks which country you live in, and whether you are ‘resident’ or ‘domiciled’. Most people in the UK are resident here – meaning they live and work here all or most of the time. However, if you have a home or homes outside the UK, but consider your main home to be in the UK, you are only domiciled here. If your main home is in another country, you may be domiciled there instead. Ask your solicitor if you’re not sure.
If you think a court in another country would be more appropriate to handle your divorce case, you can state your reasons in question 1C.
Once you’re satisfied that the form is complete, just send it back to the divorce centre that issued it to you.
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