The Dissolution Process Explained
February 18, 2011
In order to obtain a dissolution you need to show that the civil partnership has “irretrievably broken down”. There are various ways to do this and we will be able to fully advise you of your options.
If you decide to start proceedings we will prepare a dissolution petition to be sent to the court. The petition is completed and filed by the person seeking the dissolution (the “Petitioner”). If you have children you will also need to tell the Court what arrangements have been made for the care of the children. The Court will then send the papers to the other partner, (the “Respondent”).
The Court will also send a form asking the Respondent to confirm that they have received the dissolution papers and to state whether or not they wish to defend, i.e. oppose the petition. If the respondent does not return this form to the court it may be necessary to arrange to have the petition personally served on him/her. Unless the dissolution is based on a ground that requires the Respondent’s consent it is possible for a dissolution to be obtained without the Respondent returning the court form provided the judge is satisfied that the Respondent is aware of the proceedings.
The next step is for the Petitioner to send to the court an application for a declaration that he/she is entitled to a dissolution (a conditional order). There is normally no need for anybody to attend Court on the day the dissolution is pronounced. Remember, your conditional order is not the final order of dissolution. For your civil partnership to finally end a final order must be applied for. This can be done by the Petitioner six weeks after the date of the conditional order or by the Respondent after a further three months has passed.