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Your marriage certificate – the starting block.


Regardless of which solicitor you visit about your divorce, you’ll be asked to bring your marriage certificate. It’s not because we’re being awkward or pedantic, and it’s not because we don’t believe that you are actually married – you’ll need it even if you decide not to use a solicitor at all. This is because in order to file a petition for divorce, the court requires the evidence of your marriage.

If you don’t have the original certificate (because it’s been lost perhaps, or maybe your ex-partner has it), you will need to contact the registry office in the district that you got married, and request a certified copy (the registry office will make a small charge for this service); or apply for one on-line. You can do so from this link: UK Records. You will need to supply your full name and your ex-partner’s, and the place and date of the marriage. Details of the charges and alternative ways to get a certified copy are also available on that site.

The court will not accept a photocopied certificate; it must be either the original or an official copy. Obtaining a copy can be done relatively quickly, but it’s always advisable not to leave it until the last minute to request one if you wish to avoid any delay.

If you got married abroad you will still be required to produce a marriage certificate in order to file a petition for divorce in the UK. If you do not have one, you should contact the relevant authorities in the country where you were married to find out how to obtain a new one.

If your marriage certificate is written in a foreign language you will need to obtain a certified translation. There are a number of services advertised on the internet; again, there will be a charge for the service, but check that the copy will be properly certified and will be acceptable to the court.

Your marriage certificate, along with any translation document, and your petition for divorce can then be lodged with the court.

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