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I’m dissolving my civil partnership. What’s a decree absolute?

A decree absolute – also known as a final order – is the document which dissolves your civil partnership. After you have a decree absolute you are no longer civil partners and can both now enter into civil partnerships with other people.

The process of getting a decree absolute (dissolving your civil partnership) 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 can take a lot longer.

Once the respondent has been served with the petition (this can be done by process servers if they refuse) then the conditional order – also known as the decree nisi – can be applied for. If the grounds of the petition are accepted the conditional order will then be pronounced in court. The court will then make an order in relation to finances and once this is agreed the final order – also known as the decree absolute – will be applied for. It is when the final order is finalised that the civil partnership is dissolved. The final order has to be applied for at least 6 weeks and 1 day after the conditional order is pronounced but this can take much longer if there is a complex financial settlement, for example if you are a high net worth individual with pension funds and investments spread out across the world.


Contact us to see how we can help you with dissolving your civil partnership

For more information on your options dissolving your civil partnership call our team on 0845 862 5001 or email

We offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:

Leeds Office: Princes Exchange, Princes Square, Leeds, LS1 4HY

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP

Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

Coventry Office: Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 2DY

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

Please contact us for more details.

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