Decree absolute—divorce
Decree absolute—divorce

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Decree absolute—divorce
  • Time for applying for decree absolute
  • Application for decree absolute
  • Application to expedite decree absolute
  • Application more than 12 months after decree nisi
  • Right of respondent to apply for decree absolute
  • Restrictions on making decree absolute
  • The timing of the application for decree absolute
  • Certificate of decree absolute
  • Rescission of decree nisi
  • more

Under the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955 final decrees of divorce and dissolution orders of civil partnership become matrimonial orders or civil partnership orders; they are not necessarily referred to as that in the forms which refer to old terms.

Time for applying for decree absolute

A decree nisi may not be made absolute before the expiration of six weeks from the date that it is granted unless the court by special order fixes a shorter period.

The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973) provides for a period of six months before which decree nisi may not be made absolute unless the High Court by general order fixes a shorter period. The present period of six weeks was fixed by the Matrimonial Causes (Decree Absolute) General Order 1972, with effect from 1 September 1972.

The first date that the person who obtained the decree nisi can apply for decree absolute is six weeks and one day from the date that decree nisi was pronounced.

Application for decree absolute

The application for decree absolute is made in Form D36. If the original application for a matrimonial order (petition) was filed before 1 July 2013 there is a fee of £50, otherwise no fee is payable.

Before the decree nisi may be made absolute, the court must be satisfied by the