While everyone who files for divorce has to complete an application form and provide a copy of their marriage certificate, some people have to provide additional documentation at this stage. When might you need to provide extra documents, and what do you need to include?
1. Your Marriage Didn't Last Two Years
If you decide to separate and divorce before you've been married for two years, then you have to follow a slightly different divorce path. Before you can apply to legally end your marriage, you usually have to have marriage counselling with a recognised counsellor or mediation specialist.
This counselling gives both of you the chance to discuss your marriage and its problems with an independent specialist. In some cases, people do reconcile after this counselling. If you don't change your mind, then your counsellor or mediator will issue you with a certificate proving that you have had the counselling. You have to include this certificate in your divorce application.
2. You Both Stayed in the Marital Home
When some couples break up, one or both of them move out of the home they shared. However, this isn't always possible. Some couples can't afford to move out until their divorce is finalised; couples with children sometimes prefer to stay in the family home to keep things stable for their kids.
This is known as being separated under one roof. While you both live in the same home, you live separate lives. If you have been doing this after you separated and before you applied for your divorce, then you need to provide affidavits when you submit your divorce application to back up your claim.
For example, you and your spouse might need to complete an affidavit to outline the reasons why you continue to live in the same property. You need to give information on changes to your living, financial and personal arrangements. You then also need an affidavit from a third party, such as a relative or friend. Their affidavit gives extra proof that you are effectively leading separate lives.
3. Your Marriage Certificate Isn't in English
If you married abroad, then your marriage certificate might not be in English. You can't submit it as it is, so you'll have to arrange for an accredited translator to translate the certificate for you. You then submit the two copies of the certificate together with an affidavit from the translator.
To find out more about any additional divorce documents you might need, contact a lawyer.