What is the Decree Nisi?

The Decree Nisi is a document issued by the Court which represents the penultimate stage of the divorce. The Decree Nisi is pronounced once the Court is satisfied that a person petitioning for divorce, has met the legal requirements to progress with the divorce application. Once the Decree Nisi has been pronounced, the parties are still married and it is only following the Decree Absolute that the parties will be divorced.

What is the Decree Absolute?

The Decree Absolute is the final stage of the divorce application and it is only once the Decree Nisi is “made absolute” that the parties are legally divorced. The Decree Absolute can be applied for 6 weeks and 1 day after the Decree Nisi was pronounced.

What is the criteria for a Divorce?

There is only one ground for divorce and this is that the marriage and/or relationship has broken down irretrievably. There are, however, five facts that can be relied upon for the reason behind the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. They are: two years separation (with consent), five years separation (without consent), unreasonable behavior, desertion and adultery. It is important to note that the “five facts” are to be abolished in the Autumn of 2021 and replaced with a statement made by the petitioner that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, following the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill.

How long does a Divorce take?

The time a divorce takes depends completely on the parties involved and whether there are matters in dispute between them. The parties may wish to deal with the financial aspects once the Decree Nisi has been pronounced and prior to the issuing of the Decree Absolute. This will of course delay the divorce, but can act as an incentive to get the financial issues resolved in a timely manner.

How do I start my Divorce application?

If you are unsure on how to begin an application for divorce, you can contact a member of our Family Department who will be happy to advise you on how to proceed with a divorce application.

If you would like to know more about any of the above issues or any other matters arising out of a divorce, please contact a member of our Family Team who will be happy to assist you.

Please contact the Family Department on  01702 662963 (Essex)  020 35537115 (London) or by using the contact form below.