decree absolute is the court order which will officially bring your marriage to an end. In other words, this is the point when you are officially divorced. Once you receive the decree absolute, you and your ex-spouse can now marry other people if you wish.
The process of getting a decree absolute can be relatively straightforward or complex, depending on your circumstances. For example, if one or both of you has a large amount of wealth and assets spread around the world and cannot come to an agreement on how to split these, then it could take a long time to get your decree absolute. As a rough estimate, we say it usually takes around four to six months, but it can take a lot longer.
It depends on your circumstances. If you apply for your decree absolute too soon, for example, this could affect the outcome of your financial settlement.
This is why it is so important to get advice tailored to your individual circumstances. A good solicitor should be able to discuss the pros and cons of applying for your decree absolute before having a financial order and advise you when is the best time to apply for your decree absolute.
A decree nisi is a document which states that the court does not see any reason why you should not be able to divorce. It is possible to make financial orders after the decree nisi is pronounced.
Newspapers are often filled with stories of ‘quickie’ divorces. In 2016, The Sun branded singer Cheryl’s divorce from Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, as “Britain’s fastest ever quickie divorce”, after she was reportedly granted her decree nisi in just 14 seconds.
However, these stories can be a little misleading, as a couple are still married until the decree absolute is finalised. A decree nisi does not mean that you are divorced.
Once the court has all the documents that it needs, it can then allocate a date for the decree nisi to be pronounced.
In essence, a decree nisi is a piece of paper that shows that the court is satisfied that you can divorce. After your decree nisi is pronounced, financial orders can be made with regard to your financial settlement.
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