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divorce dree absolute

How to finalise your divorce when your Decree Nisi was pronounced more than 12 months ago

The Decree Absolute is the final decree which brings your marriage to an end and means you are divorced. Before you can have your Decree Absolute the Court must have pronounced your Decree Nisi.

The Waiting Game

Once your Decree Nisi has been pronounced, if you are the one who applied for the divorce (the Petitioner), you have to wait six weeks and one day before you are able to apply for Decree Absolute.

If you are the Respondent to the divorce then you will have to wait for three months, pay a fee and the matter will be set down for a hearing so it is best to let the Petitioner apply where possible.

Often people need more time to finalise their financial agreement than six weeks or even 3 months. You should always resolve the matrimonial finances first as Decree Absolute can have a significant impact on inheritance and what would happen with pensions should you spouse die in the interim.

What happens if more than 12 months have passed?

You are not able to apply for Decree Absolute in the usual manner after 12 months from the date of the Decree Nisi.  This is classed as an 'out of time application'.

This does not mean that you cannot finalise the divorce. To ensure that your Decree Absolute application is accepted you must also submit a Statement explaining the reason for the delay and why your application is being made out of time.

Your Statement should include the following information:-

1. The reason for the delay.
2. Whether you have lived with the Respondent since the Decree Nisi.
3. Whether a child of the family has been born to either party since the date of Decree Nisi.

Once submitted to the Court, the Judge will review your Application for Decree Absolute along with your Statement in Support and grant your Decree Absolute to finalise the divorce and end the marriage.

If you are unsure how to finalise your divorce then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01252 622422 or make an appointment via our online booking system to discuss how we can assist you.

Watson Thomas Solicitors have offices in Fleet, Guildford, LondonBracknell, Camberley, Farnborough and Woking.

If you are unsure how to finalise your divorce then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 488 0218 or make an appointment via our online booking system to discuss how we can assist you.

Watson Thomas are a dedicated team of Family Lawyers who specialise in all aspects of family law. 

Our staff can work from home and access all systems so even if all are required to self-isolate this will not affect the day-to-day running of your case. We can also hold appointments via telephone and video conferencing, as needs be, to ensure that your service is not interrupted.

To book a FREE Initial Consultation with one of our family law solicitors or email any enquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..