Finalising the divorce - Decree Absolute

 

What will happen when the Judge has pronounced my decree nisi ?
What must I do before I apply for my decree absolute?
Will I have to pay a fee?
Do I need a form to make my decree nisi absolute?
What will the court do with form D36?
When do I have my final decree ?


What will happen when the Judge has pronounced my decree nisi ?


 

The court will send you and the respondent (and any named co-respondent) form D29 (decree nisi). The example shows what a completed form looks like. There is a different version of the decree nisi for each of the five grounds for divorce. You will see that the form D29 tells you that this is not the final decree. It also tells you when you can apply for your final decree, your "decree absolute".


What must I do before I apply for my decree absolute?


 

If there are children of the family, check that the court has sent you a form D84B which says the judge has decided that the decree absolute need not be held up on account of the children.

You cannot have your decree nisi made absolute if the court sent you form D66. See Children and divorce.

If there are no children of the family or the court has sent you form D84B , then check that six weeks have passed since your decree nisi was pronounced. The first date you can apply for your decree absolute is six weeks and one day from the date your decree nisi was pronounced.


Will I have to pay a fee?


 

You may have to pay a fee. The court staff at any divorce court will tell you if you have to and how much it is. You can pay the fee by cash, postal order or cheque. Cheques should be made out to "HM Paymaster General".


Do I need a form to make my decree nisi absolute?


 

Yes. Get form D36 (notice of application for decree nisi to be made absolute) from the court office. Fill it in and take or send it to the court office.


What will the court do with form D36?


 

From your file the court will check the following.

  • If there are children: the court is satisfied with the arrangements proposed for them
  • that even if the court is not satisfied, there are no exceptional circumstances affecting the decree absolute;
  • six weeks have passed since your decree nisi was pronounced;
  • there is no other reason why your decree nisi cannot be made absolute.

If everything is in order the court will send you and the respondent a form D37 (decree absolute). The example shows what a completed form looks like.


When do I have my final decree ?


 

Form D37 is your final decree and you are free to re-marry if you so wish.