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When to Apply for a Decree Absolute

There are many procedures concerning divorce which, if they are not followed precisely, can cause frustration or, worse yet, delay proceedings or stop them altogether. Unfortunately, this still applies even when a judge has, in principal, agreed that the divorce can go ahead.

Following a judge having reviewed an application for a divorce and having concluded that the marriage in question can indeed be legally dissolved, they will issue both parties with a document known as a Decree Nisi. Many people assume that it is following this particular document having been issued that their divorce has been finalised but this is not the case. Rather, this document is a means of informing the couple in question that they may finalise their divorce, but not before engaging in a further period of consideration.

Following a Decree Nisi having been pronounced, the Petitioner may apply to finalise a divorce six weeks and one day later. Should they attempt to finalise the divorce any earlier, their application will simply be rejected. Fortunately, this will not affect the overall procedure as the Petitioner can simply apply again when the appropriate amount of time has passed. Nevertheless, a rejected application is certain to cause frustration and can cause genuine concern amongst people who are not entirely au fait with the procedure.

It should also be noted that a Respondent is able to apply for a Decree Absolute if the Petitioner has not filed for it within three months of them being able to i.e. six weeks and one day after their Decree Nisi was pronounced.


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