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What is a D8 Form?

With changes in legislation coming into force and the introduction of a ‘no fault’ plea, getting a divorce just got a lot easier. However, there are still certain steps you need to take in order to apply for a divorce- and one of the most important is completing a D8 form.

Your first step when seeking a divorce is to apply to a local divorce centre. 

Your next step is to complete a D8 form, which is a requirement for filing for divorce in England and Wales. As the D8 form holds huge weight in the divorce process, it’s important that you’re informed about what it entails. Here we look to guide you through where to locate a D8 form, where it should be sent, as well as some tips on how to complete it.

Do I need a D8 form?

Anyone seeking a divorce in England or Wales will need to fill in a D8 form in order to begin proceedings. The information you provide on the form will be used to determine whether or not you can legally end your marriage or civil partnership. For this reason, it’s imperative that you are fully aware of what the D8 form includes and know how best to approach it.

How do I get a D8 form?

The D8 form can be downloaded from GOV UK. The form is available in an online format, a format for printing and completing by hand, in Welsh and, if required, can be available in more accessible formats.

Where do I send my D8 form?

Your completed D8 form must be sent to your local divorce centre, which can be found using the government’s Court and Tribunal Finder.

Once you have located your nearest divorce centre, you must send them the following in order to file for divorce:

  • 3 copies of your filled in Form D8
  • Either an original or certified copy of your marriage/civil partnership certificate
  • A court fee of £550

If you have a low income and limited savings, then you may be eligible for help with court fees.

What is in the D8 form?

The information on a D8 form is used for a court to decide if you are permitted to legally terminate your marriage or civil partnership. Your spouse or civil partner will receive a copy of your D8 form.

The form has 11 sections. Some sections focus on basic information about you and your partner, such as your address and the address of your spouse. Other sections are more challenging to complete, asking for details on why the marriage cannot be reconciled, and information about how your assets and property will be divided.

Why it’s important to engage with a financial adviser early

If both parties are amenable, engaging the services of a financial adviser at the start of the divorce process can help ensure that any tax planning opportunities available to married couples prior to divorce are used.

This is particularly important for assets that are subject to a potential Capital Gains Tax (CGT) liability when you sell them.

Frustratingly a financial adviser is usually engaged once a settlement has been agreed at which point it can be too late to carry out some of the crucial planning needed to avoid both of you paying unnecessary taxes or providing a longer-lasting maintenance order.

Tips for completing a D8 form

Below is a summary of all 11 sections of the D8 form, with tips on how to complete them effectively.

Section 1: Application details

Here you will indicate which type of application you intend to make, i.e., a divorce, a dissolution or a judicial separation.

It’s important to note that a judicial separation involves enforcing spouses to live apart and keep their assets separate, while still remaining legally married.

You will also indicate what supporting documents you are including. This is typically a marriage certificate, and a translation if required.

Sections 2 & 3: Details about petitioner and respondent (i.e. individual filing for divorce and their spouse)

This includes the full address of both you and your spouse, as well as full names and other contact information and that of any solicitors involved in the case.

Section 4: Details about the marriage or civil partnership

This is the information which can be found on your marriage certificate, as well as documents showing a change of name.

Section 5: Jurisdiction

This is where you will justify why you believe the court has the legal power to handle your case. For example, common justifications include: you are both residents of either England or Wales and live and work in the country.

Section 6: The reason for your divorce, dissolution or judicial separation

Here you will choose from the following 5 grounds for divorce:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable Behaviour
  • Desertion
  • Separated for 2 years (with consent from spouse to file for divorce)
  • Separated for 5 years

You only have to choose one reason, although you can tick multiple options if applicable.

Section 7: Additional information

Here you will include any additional information which can support your case. Relevant additional information will depend on the reason you are pursuing a divorce. For example, if you cite separation as your reason, then you must provide details about the dates that you both agreed to end your marriage or civil partnership, as well as when you stopped cohabitating.

Section 8: Additional information exclusively for adultery cases

This section need only be completed by individuals pursuing a divorce on the grounds of infidelity. You can choose to name the person your spouse has been adulterous with or not. If you do name them, however, you must include their contact details and they will also receive a copy of the petition.

Section 9: Information about any existing court cases

Details about any other court proceedings taking place simultaneously, e.g., child arrangements, must be provided here.

Section 10: Plans for dividing money and property

If you do not have an agreement with your spouse on how money and property will be split, then you can request that the court decide for you. These will come in the form of ‘financial orders’.

If you have an agreement on this with your spouse, however, then you can apply for a financial order to be made by consent, rendering it legally binding.

Section 11: Summary and statement of truth

In the final section you will confirm your intent to pursue a divorce and sign a statement of truth validating that all information provided is both true and accurate.

Here you will also specify whether you want your spouse/civil partner to cover the costs of the divorce. Ticking ‘yes’ in this section will mean that you request this, however,  it is not a confirmation that it will occur.

Once you have completed the form to your — and your solicitor’s — satisfaction, you can then send three copies, plus any relevant documents, to your local divorce centre.

What happens after you have sent your D8 form?

After submitting your D8 form, the application will be checked. This typically takes up to 10 days online, but may take longer if sent by post. Your spouse or civil partner will also be required to acknowledge receipt of the D8 form by returning the Acknowledgement of Service to the court.

How can we help?

Ending a marriage or civil partnership can impact your financial situation, goals and future. Reflecting on and deciding upon new financial objectives remains important but can be difficult in light of changing personal circumstances. Seeking out a financial advisor can therefore be a huge help, and at The Private Office we offer a range of services to help assist you in financial matters.

For help on this matter download our guide or get in touch with an adviser to arrange a free no obligation consultation. We are also able to work in tandem with your solicitor. It should be noted that failing to formally instruct a solicitor can prove a false economy.