Apply for a decree absolute
The decree absolute is the legal document that ends your marriage.
You need to wait at least 43 days (6 weeks and 1 day) after the date of the decree nisi before you can apply for a decree absolute.
Apply within 12 months of getting the decree nisi - otherwise you will have to explain the delay to the court.
How to apply
To apply for a decree absolute, fill in the notice of application for decree nisi to be made absolute form.
If you want a legally binding arrangement for dividing money and property you must apply to the court for this before you apply for a decree absolute.
Getting the decree absolute
The court will check that:
- 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.
You’ll get your decree absolute within:
- 24 hours (Monday to Friday) if you applied online
- 10 days if you applied by post
If a solicitor is acting for you, the decree absolute will be sent to them. You’ll need to ask them for a copy.
Once you get the decree absolute, you are divorced, no longer married and free to marry again if you wish.
Keep the decree absolute safe - you will need to show it if you remarry or to prove your marital status.
If you lose your decree absolute, you can apply to the court for a copy.
If you do not apply for the decree absolute
Your husband or wife can apply for the decree absolute if you do not. They’ll have to wait an extra 3 months to do this, on top of the standard 43 days.