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  • The Petitioner prepares and files the dissolution papers at the court
  • The court sends a copy of the dissolution papers and the acknowledgement of service form to the Respondent
  • The Respondent completes the acknowledgement of service form and returns it to the court
  • The court sends a sealed copy of the acknowledgement of service form to the Petitioner
  • The Petitioner prepares and swears a statement in support of the petition, which is filed with the court requesting an order of dissolution.
  • The Court considers the papers and, if appropriate, fixes a time and date for pronouncement of the conditional order of dissolution.
  • The conditional order is pronounced and a cost order is made, where appropriate
  • The court will issue the final order of dissolution of the Petitioner's application, six weeks and one day after the conditional order is issued.
  • If the Respondent defends the petition, the dissolution will proceed to a court hearing, which all parties will need to attend. 

Legal Terms Defined

The Petitioner is the person who is applying for the dissolution.


The Respondent is the other party.


Dissolution papers  

These include:

  • Civil partnership certificate.
  • Petition. This is the legal document that sets out the reasons for the dissolution of the partnership; and
  • Statement of arrangements for children.
  • This is a form that tells the court about the children's living arrangements. If possible, both civil partners should sign this in advance.
  • Statement of Reconciliation. A statement completed by your Solicitor stating if you have/have not been advised about being reconciled with your civil partner.
  • Acknowledgement of service is the official form to complete and sign to show that the respondent has received the petition and whether s/he intends to defend it or not.
  • Statement in support of the petition is a written statement telling the court that the contents of the petition are true and saying that the petitioner wants to proceed with the dissolution.
  • Conditional order is the first decree. It is provisional and does not dissolve the civil partnership finally.
  • Final order is the final decree of dissolution. Once it is made the civil partnership is at an end and both parties may form a new civil partnership if they wish to do so. The court does not make the final order unless one party requests it. There are sometimes good reasons for delaying the application, which you should discuss with your solicitor.

If the petitioner delays applying for more than three months after this date then the respondent can apply, by requesting the court to fix an appointment to consider the matter. The petitioner can object to this.



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