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The respondent has replied to my petition

What do I need to do with the Respondent’s Acknowledgement of Service form?

You will need to check the answer the Respondent has given to the question “Do you intend to defend the case?”. If the answer is “no” you can ask the Court to consider whether you have grounds for a dissolution and whether the arrangements you propose for any children are satisfactory. This is called applying for directions for trial.

If they answer “no” to the question “Do you agree with the statement of the Petitioner as to the grounds of jurisdiction set out in the petition?”, the Court will let you know if you need to see the Judge. If you need to come to Court, you should instruct a solicitor.

What should I do if the Respondent says they intend to defend the case?

Wait to see whether you receive a copy of the defence (known as an “answer”). The Respondent must provide the Court with this within 21 days after the time limit for giving notice of intention to defend expires (7 working days after the petition was received by them).

You should therefore wait for 29 days from the date that the Respondent says they received your petition. However, this time period may be slightly longer if, for example, a bank holiday occurs between the date the petition was served and the end of the following 29 days.

If you do not receive a copy of the defence within the above period you can apply for directions for trial. If you do receive a copy of the defence you should ask a solicitor to help you.

How do I apply for directions for trial? (Application for Decree Nisi)

You will need to complete the relevant application and a statement in support of the application.  These forms then need to be sent to the court for your application to be dealt with.

You must not return these forms to the Court until 9 days has passed since the Respondent says they received your petition.

What documents will I need to exhibit to the statement?

You must provide documents which show that the Respondent has received the petition, that the Respondent consents to a dissolution where the fact relied upon is are that you have lived apart for 2 years, and that the Respondent agrees with the arrangements proposed for any children. In most cases the acknowledgment of service form will show all of these things. The acknowledgment of service form should be exhibited to the statement.

What will the Court do with the forms D84 and D580G?

Court staff will place the papers with your case file and pass it to the Judge.

The Judge will look at your petition and statement of evidence and decide if you can have a dissolution. You will not have to come to Court when this is done.

What will happen if the Judge says I can have a dissolution?

The Court will send you and the Respondent a certificate of entitlement to a decree. The form will tell you the time and date when the Judge will grant your dissolution. This is called “making the conditional order”. There is no need for you to come to Court on that date.

If there are no children, the form will come with a notice of satisfaction with regard to the arrangements for the children which will confirm that there are no children.

A conditional order is the first of 2 two orders you must have before your civil partnership is finally dissolved and you are free to enter into another civil partnership or marry.

What will happen if the Judge says I cannot have a dissolution?

The Court will send you a notice of refusal of Judge’s certificate. The form will tell you why the Judge has decided your case is not in order. In most cases the Court will need further information and will tell you what they need.

If you have any questions or need any further advice, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.

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