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.

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 don’t apply for the decree absolute

Your husband or wife can apply for the decree absolute if you don’t. They’ll have to wait an extra 3 months to do this, on top of the standard 43 days.