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What Is A Decree Absolute?

The decree absolute is the legal document that ends your marriage. You will need to wait for at least 6 weeks from the date of the decree nisi before you can apply for a decree absolute.

The delay is designed so that you can discuss financial separation and other issues with your husband or wife before the marriage comes to an end, although there may need to be further court hearings on those matters.

You will need to apply within 12 months of getting the decree nisi - otherwise you will have to explain the delay to the court. We recommend getting legal advice.

What If You Didn't Start The Divorce?

If your husband or wife started the divorce, but they haven’t applied for a decree absolute, you can apply but you'll have to wait an additional 3 months on top of the standard 6 weeks. You will need to go to court if this happens and should get legal advice.

What The Court will Do With The Application

The court will check that:

  • arrangements for children aren’t a reason to delay the divorce
  • time limits have been met
  • there are no other reasons not to grant the divorce.

The court will then send you both a decree absolute.

Once you get the decree absolute, you are divorced and no longer married. You will need to show the decree absolute if you remarry.