How long do I have to wait for Decree Absolute?

After the decree nisi/conditional order is pronounced the Petitioner cannot apply for the final stage of decree absolute/final order until 6 weeks and 1 day have elapsed. The application for the final stage does not have to be issued immediately after the expiry of the period of 6 weeks and 1 day. The Petitioner can apply any time in the first 12 months after the date of decree nisi/conditional order. Once more than 12 months has elapsed since the pronouncement, the Petitioner can still apply for the final stage but they will also have to complete a statement, asking the Court’s permission to apply out of time. In the statement the Court needs evidence that the parties have not got back together, that no further children have been born to either party, and the reason why there was a delay in making the application.

The Court considers the requirement that you wait 6 weeks and 1 day before applying for the final stage as a “cooling off period” to allow the parties to consider whether they do want to legally end the marriage/civil partnership. It is not possible to shorten this cooling off period and finalise the proceedings before this 6 weeks and 1 day period has elapsed.

If the Petitioner does not apply for the decree absolute/final order the Respondent would be able to apply for it 3 months after the 6 weeks and 1 day period has elapsed. The Respondent would need to apply to the Court with an application to request the decree absolute/final order is granted. The Court will list the application for a hearing to decide whether to grant the order or not, and both the Petitioner and respondent will be notified.

If you need help with divorce proceedings, or if you want to organise a free, initial no obligation consultation, please telephone Rowlinsons Solicitors on 01928 735333 and ask to speak with the family department.

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