Matrimonal dating

In Northern Ireland a divorce or dissolution of civil partnership may only be presented to the court after the parties have been married / in a civil partnership for a period of two years.The law concerning divorce or dissolution of civil partnership procedures and the forms are different in Northern Ireland to other parts of the United Kingdom.What happens at the hearing depends on whether or not the Respondent consents to the proceedings.If the Respondent consents, only the Petitioner need attend the hearing, otherwise both parties will be required to attend court.Divorce proceedings commence when a party to a marriage/civil partnership or their legal representatives lodge completed forms (signed and dated) with the Matrimonial Office along with the appropriate fee. When lodging the Petition you must include a certified copy of the “long form” certificate for the marriage/civil partnership and the “long form” birth certificate(s) for any children of the parties who are under 18 years of age.

Our staff are not legally qualified and therefore are not in a position to give legal advice. The forms can be completed either personally or through the engagement of a suitably qualified practitioner of law in the jurisdiction.

Only when the parties receive the Decree Absolute/Conditional Order made Final, are they free to re-marry/form a new Civil Partnership.

It is important that you keep the Decree Absolute / Conditional Order made Final safe as you will need it in future to produce to various authorities to prove your divorce was finalised.

Guidance is available here to assist practitioners completing the forms.

It is important that forms are completed accurately.

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When all documentation is in order the office will invite the parties to set the case down for hearing.

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