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Top ten reasons divorce petitions are rejected

The family law organisation Resolution has shared a list of the top reasons divorce petitions are rejected by divorce centres.

Getting divorced is complicated enough with emotions flying around and practical arrangements to deal with. If you’re getting ready to file for divorce, it’s useful to know some of the pitfalls of submitting your application, so that you can handle the process as efficiently as possible.

In 2015, there was a change to the way divorces are processed, with the responsibility for considering cases moving from district judges to legal advisors in new divorce centres across England and Wales.

The change helped highlight some of the errors commonly made on applications for divorce petitions. Nationwide, around 40% of petitions are returned due to errors or missing information. This slows down the process and creates extra work for the person filing for divorce.

The main reasons for petitions being returned include:

  • No fee being enclosed with the application.
  • Incorrect details on the form, such as the wrong place and date of the marriage.
  • Marriage certificate not included.

When you file for divorce, it’s important to check that you’ve included the right information with your application. The main things you need are your and your spouse’s full names and addresses, and your marriage certificate. You can find all the details on, with a link to the form you need to submit.

If you want further support in getting all the details of your petition right, you might want to consider talking with a family solicitor. Most solicitors will be able to offer 15 minutes of free legal advice as you decide the best course of action.

Here, in full, are the top ten reasons divorce petitions are returned:

1. No fee enclosed.
2. Details of marriage, incorrect.

  • Names do not match marriage certificate.
  • Place of marriage.
  • Date of marriage.

3. Jurisdiction page, incomplete and incorrect.
4. Other proceedings or arrangements, incomplete.
5. The facts.

  • Grounds do not match statement of case.
  • Two grounds selected.

6. Statement of case, insufficient detail or incomplete.
7. No marriage certificate received.

  • No original marriage certificate enclosed.
  • No translation of marriage certificate.
  • Only photocopy of marriage certificate enclosed.

8. No certificate of reconciliation received from solicitor.
9. No fee remission contribution received.
10. Service details.

  • Not complete.
  • No address for service for all parties.
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