Understanding the Process of Obtaining a Decree Absolute in Divorce Proceedings

Understanding the Process of Obtaining a Decree Absolute in Divorce Proceedings
Understanding the Process of Obtaining a Decree Absolute in Divorce Proceedings

Divorce is a challenging and emotional process that many couples have to go through. It involves the legal dissolution of a marriage and the division of assets, finances, and responsibilities. One of the final stages in the divorce process is obtaining a Decree Absolute, which formally ends the marriage and allows both parties to remarry if they wish to do so. In this article, we will explore the process of obtaining a Decree Absolute in divorce proceedings in the UK, including what it is, how to apply for it, and what happens once it is granted.

What is a Decree Absolute?

A Decree Absolute is the final legal document in divorce proceedings that officially ends a marriage. It is issued by the court after the Decree Nisi has been granted and a certain period of time has passed, typically six weeks and one day. The Decree Absolute is a crucial document as it signifies the end of the marriage and allows both parties to move on with their lives, including remarrying if they choose to do so.

How to Apply for a Decree Absolute

In order to apply for a Decree Absolute, both parties must have already obtained a Decree Nisi. This is the first stage in the divorce process and is granted by the court once it has been satisfied that the grounds for divorce have been met. Once the Decree Nisi has been granted, there is a waiting period of at least six weeks and one day before the petitioner can apply for a Decree Absolute.

To apply for a Decree Absolute, the petitioner must fill out a D36 form, which can be obtained from the court or downloaded online. The form requires details such as the names of the parties, the date of the Decree Nisi, and any financial arrangements that have been made. Once the form has been completed, it must be sent to the court along with the appropriate fee, which is currently £93.

What Happens Once the Decree Absolute is Granted

Once the court has received the application for a Decree Absolute and the necessary paperwork, it will review the case to ensure that all legal requirements have been met. If everything is in order, the court will grant the Decree Absolute, officially ending the marriage. The court will then send a copy of the Decree Absolute to both parties, along with a notice confirming that the marriage has been dissolved.

Once the Decree Absolute has been granted, both parties are free to remarry if they wish to do so. It is important to note that obtaining a Decree Absolute does not necessarily mean that all financial matters between the parties have been resolved. If there are outstanding financial issues, such as the division of assets or ongoing maintenance payments, these will need to be addressed separately.

What if the Decree Absolute is Delayed?

In some cases, there may be delays in obtaining a Decree Absolute. This could be due to a variety of reasons, such as outstanding financial issues, disputes over child custody, or administrative errors. If there are delays in obtaining a Decree Absolute, it is important to seek legal advice to understand the reasons for the delay and how to address them.

If there are outstanding financial issues, such as the division of assets or ongoing maintenance payments, it may be necessary to apply for a financial order from the court. This is a separate legal process that can help to resolve financial disputes between the parties and ensure that all financial matters are properly settled before the Decree Absolute is granted.

It is also important to note that once the Decree Absolute has been granted, it is possible to apply for a reversal of the Decree Absolute in certain circumstances. This is a complex and rare legal process that involves proving that there was a serious error in the original divorce proceedings. It is advisable to seek legal advice if you believe that there are grounds for reversing a Decree Absolute.

Conclusion

Obtaining a Decree Absolute is a crucial step in the divorce process that officially ends a marriage and allows both parties to move on with their lives. It is important to understand the process of obtaining a Decree Absolute, including what it is, how to apply for it, and what happens once it is granted. By following the correct procedures and seeking legal advice when necessary, both parties can ensure that the divorce process is completed smoothly and efficiently.

Avatar of DLS Solicitors by DLS Solicitors
18th May 2024
Avatar of DLS Solicitors
DLS Solicitors

Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

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