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.

If your husband or wife started the divorce

If your husband or wife started the divorce, but they haven’t applied for a decree absolute, you can apply.

You’ll have to wait an extra 3 months, on top of the standard 43-day delay, before you can do this.

To apply, fill in an application notice form.

You’ll have to pay a £155 fee and go to a court hearing with your husband or wife.

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.

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.