Q&As

Is there a restriction on applying for decree absolute where the parties remain living in the matrimonial home?

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Published on LexisPSL on 25/03/2019

The following Family Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is there a restriction on applying for decree absolute where the parties remain living in the matrimonial home?

Is there a restriction on applying for decree absolute where the parties remain living in the matrimonial home?

A decree nisi may not be made absolute before the expiration of six weeks from the date it is granted, unless the court in which the proceedings are pending by special order fixes a shorter period. As soon as this period expires, the person who obtained the decree may apply to have it made absolute by lodging with the district judge a notice in Form D36. The district judge then has regard to the matters set out in the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, 7.32 and, if they are satisfied as to such matters, they will make the decree absolute and endorse the decree nisi to that effect, stating the time at which it was made absolute. A certificate will then be sent to the petitioner and respondent.

Where application is made for decree nisi to be made absolute more than 12 months after decree nisi was pronounced, an explanation in writing must be provided to the district judge. This could be by letter from the applicant (if acting in person) or their solicitor.

The written explanation should state the following:

  1. why the notice has not been given earlier

  2. whether the applicant and respondent have lived together since the decree nisi or the conditional order was

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