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Notice: This page is part of an old, outdated guide to divorce - it is only applicable to readers whose divorce began before 6th April 2022. Anyone whose divorce started after this date (or whose divorce has not yet started) should instead read our updated guide to the new no-fault divorce process.

Step 6) Apply for Decree Absolute

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When the Decree Nisi is granted, 6 weeks and 1 day later the petitioner can apply for the final decree called the Decree Absolute and submit Form D36 (notice of application for Decree Nisi to be made absolute). This is processed within a few days and the Court can then grant the Decree Absolute making the divorce final. The court will sent to the petitioner and respondent Form D37 (Decree Absolute).

If as petitioner you need the decree absolute as soon as possible so you can remarry for example you should contact the court and ask when it can be collected.

Before making application for the decree absolute you should consider having a consent order drafted by a solicitor,this should then be sent to court before the absolute application to be sealed (stamped) making it binding once the decree absolute is granted. The application fee to lodge the order with court is £50. A consent order makes any financial agreement you both have legally binding, it also ends any financial claims either of you have on each others assets in the future once and for all.

The petitioner sends the application for the Decree Absolute to the court.
send-letter.jpg If you are posting the documents we recommend paying for recorded delivery.
  Remember to include all these documents:
write-form.jpg Form D36 Notice of application for Decree Nisi to be made absolute. b) If you haven't applied then after 3 months your spouse may apply to the court for the Decree Absolute

If the petitioner does not apply for a Decree Absolute, then the respondent can apply 3 months after the date the petitioner could have applied for the Decree Absolute. This is 4.5 months and 1 day after the Decree Nisi is granted and the cost is £95 it is more expensive than if the petitioner made application because a hearing is usually required to consider why the respondent is making application rather than the petitioner. The petitioner can prevent the respondent from doing this if the petitioner can show that by doing so it would create financial difficulties, where a final financial order has not been granted by court.

And...Finally the court sends the Petitioner and Respondent a copy of the Decree Absolute

The court posts the Decree Absolute to you and your spouse.
send-letter.jpg The documents will be posted to you and your spouse at the address that you provided on the petition.
  The package will include these documents:
leaflet.jpg Form D37 The Decree Absolute, which means you are now free to remarry.


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The modern, convenient and affordable way to divorce.

No-Fault Divorce £179

We provide the UK's lowest cost no-fault divorce service, managed by a well respected firm of solicitors. 

Online Mediation £250

Online mediation is a convenient and inexpensive way to agree on a fair financial settlement.

Consent Order £259

This legally binding agreement defines how assets (e.g. properties and pensions) are to be divided.

Court Support £250

Support for people who have to go to court to get a fair divorce financial settlement without a solicitor.