There is confusion over the difference between a Decree Nisi and a Decree Absolute. Whilst both are relevant to divorce proceedings, a Decree Nisi does not bring the marriage to end, it is viewed as the ‘first stage’ when filing for a divorce. A Decree Absolute, on the other hand, is the final step which will legally end the marriage.
The Decree Nisi signifies that the petitioner is entitled to apply for a divorce and that the procedural and legal requirements have been sufficiently met.
In order to apply for a Decree Nisi, form D84 and the relevant D80 form must be completed. Once in receipt of the Decree Nisi, you must wait a period of six weeks and one day before applying for a Decree Absolute. In extreme cases, the court may reduce the six-week period (Practice Direction 7A).
The Decree Absolute is the final decree of the divorce, signifying that the marriage has legally come to an end. It is important to keep the Decree Absolute as it may be required if you remarry or intend to recover your maiden name.
Prior to applying for a Decree Absolute, it is advisable to finalise any financial settlement. As once a Decree Absolute is granted, any reference to a former spouse in a Will is ineffective. In order to apply for a Decree Absolute, form D36 must be completed.
Whilst this can be quite a difficult time in your life, Audley Chaucer have the experience and expertise to assist you in this process. For further information on divorce and family proceedings, please contact John Szepietowski or Kay Stewart at Audley Chaucer Solicitors.
Joseph Beams April 2021