Will I need an Advocate?

It is not always necessary to have an advocate when applying for a divorce. However you may find it useful to instruct an advocate before starting your application if:

  • the Respondent is not likely to agree to a divorce;
  • you have not come to an agreement regarding the arrangements for any child(ren);
  • you have not come to an agreement regarding financial support for yourself or any child(ren), or about property.

The Court will always recommend if you are unsure of the relevant Acts/Rules which relate to applications, or have queries regarding the contents of applications, you should seek legal advice and/or contact a Manx Advocate. The names of Manx Advocates who are Family Law practitioners may be obtained from the Isle of Man Law Society.

If you have instructed a Manx Advocate to act for you, all correspondence will be sent directly to them and the Court will be unable to correspond with you personally in relation to your case.

Do I have to say why I want a divorce?

No. You only need to state your marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’.

How much does a divorce cost?

You can find any fees in relation to divorce applications in the Court Services Fees Order at www.courts.im/fees

You may be able to apply for fee remission if you receive benefits or are on a low income. If you are making a joint application and want help paying the fee, you and your spouse must both apply for help. If your spouse is not eligible or does not apply, you will be required to pay the full fee. The application form and notes in respect of seeking remission of fees can be found at www.courts.im/fees

Do I have to live on the Isle of Man to get a divorce here?

The Isle of Man Court has the jurisdiction to deal with a divorce application if at least one of the parties to the divorce:

  • Has been habitually resident in the Isle of Man throughout the period of one year ending with the date of the application, or;
  • At the date of the application is domiciled in the Isle of Man.

What happens when I have submitted my application to the Court?

Sole Application:

Once the court receives your completed application, it will be processed and an issue date will be applied to it. A copy will then be sent to the Respondent along with an ‘Acknowledgement of Service’ which must be completed and returned to the Court within 14 days of receiving it.

Joint Application:

Once the Court receives your completed application, it will be processed and an issue date applied to it.   A copy will then be sent to both Applicant 1 and Applicant 2 along with the form ‘Notice of Proceedings to Joint Applicants’ which both parties are required to complete and return to the Court within 14 days of receiving it in order for the application to proceed.

If there is a mistake or problem with your application, the Court will contact you and your application will be returned to be amended. To avoid this, please make sure you complete the form carefully and correctly ensuring that all names are spelt the same on any certificates and the application form, and that all questions are answered.

How long does a no fault divorce take?

 A minimum timeframe of 20 weeks has been introduced between the initial application being issued and the provisional order being applied for. A further 6 weeks and 1 day period must then pass between the provisional order and the application for the final order.

The time it takes to finalise a divorce may also depend on other factors, including the division of finances and arrangements for children.

Can a divorce application be contested/disputed?

A divorce can only be disputed in the following limited circumstances. Respondents are not able to dispute whether the marriage has broken down. They can only dispute the application because-

  • they dispute the jurisdiction of the court of the Isle of Man to conduct the proceedings.
  • they dispute the validity of the marriage.
  • the marriage has already been legally ended.

When can the provisional order be applied for?

You can apply for the provisional order once at least 20 full weeks have passed since the date the initial application for divorce was issued by the court. An application can be made using Form MPR6 ensuring the relevant sections of the form are completed depending on whether you are applying as a sole applicant or joint applicants. Any application for a provisional order received by the Court prior to 20 weeks will be returned to the applicant.

When can the application for final order be made?

You can make your application for the provisional order to be made final once 6 weeks have passed since the date the provisional order was made. You should use Form MPR7 if the provisional order was made on a sole application and you are continuing as a sole applicant or if the provisional order was made on a joint application and you are both continuing as joint applicants. If the provisional order was made on a joint application but you are now proceeding as a sole applicant you should use Form MPR8. A fee is required for applications to make a provisional order final. See the Court Services Fees Order here for the requisite fee.

Page last updated on 04 April 2023