Get a divorce
5. Apply for decree nisi
You can apply for a decree nisi if your husband or wife doesn’t defend your divorce petition.
A decree nisi is a document that says that the court doesn’t see any reason why you can’t divorce.
If your husband or wife doesn’t agree to the divorce, you can still apply for a decree nisi. However, you’ll have to go to a court hearing to discuss the case, where a judge will decide whether to grant you a decree nisi.
Fill in application form
If your husband or wife is defending the case, fill in section B of the form, saying you want a ‘case management hearing’ before the judge - there’s a £50 fee.
You must also fill in a statement confirming that what you said in your divorce petition is true.
There are 5 statement forms - use the one that covers the reason you’ve given for your divorce:
- adultery statement
- unreasonable behaviour statement
- desertion statement
- 2 years’ separation statement
- 5 years’ separation statement
Attach a copy of your husband or wife’s response to the divorce petition.
Getting a decree nisi
If the judge agrees, the court will send you and your husband or wife a certificate. This will tell you the time and date you’ll be granted a decree nisi.
After the decree nisi has been granted, you’ll have to wait 6 weeks before you can apply for a ‘decree absolute’ to end the marriage.
Your application is rejected
You may be sent a ‘notice of refusal of judge’s certificate’ form, saying why you can’t divorce.
The form will tell you what to do next. The judge may want more information in writing, or you may have to go to a court hearing.
Get legal advice if there’s going to be a court hearing.