Q&As

Can a district judge grant the decree nisi at the first appointment of a financial remedy application, where both parties are present and in agreement that the decree nisi should be pronounced?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 23/10/2019

The following Family Q&A produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a district judge grant the decree nisi at the first appointment of a financial remedy application, where both parties are present and in agreement that the decree nisi should be pronounced?

In the case of an undefended petition for divorce, the parties will typically receive notice of the date, time and place of the hearing of the decree nisi, and the hearing can take place in the parties’ absence with neither needing to attend. The general rule is that such a hearing is in public, but the hearing may be in private in certain circumstances laid out at Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, 7.16(3). Usually, the hearing is listed in a block of similar cases, with the judge simply going through a list of the decree nisis to be granted in that block.

Since there is usually no need for parties to attend, it is unusual for parties to press the matter.

The timeframe for when an application may be made for the pronouncement of decree nisi is detailed at FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 7.19. An application may be made at any time after the time for filing the acknowledgment of service has expired, provided that the petition is not defended, and also, in any other case, at any time after the time to filing an answer has expired.

Where an application is made under FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 7.19 in an undefended case, if the court is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to a decree nisi, the co

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