Decree Absolute

A Decree Absolute is the document that legally ends your marriage.

When can I apply for a Decree Absolute?
A Decree Absolute can be applied for 6 weeks after the date of the Decree Nisi. During this time, we will endeavour to resolve any financial issues associated with the end of your marriage.

What happens if my ex spouse fails to apply for a Decree Absolute?
If your spouse began the divorce, as the Petitioner, and then fails to apply for Decree Absolute, you as the Respondent may apply 3 months after the 6 week period referred to above has expired.

Granting a Decree Absolute
Upon receiving the application, providing the Court is satisfied that the divorce should not be delayed due to arrangements for children, that time limits have been adhered to and that there are no other reasons that should prevent the grant of a divorce, the Court will grant the Decree Absolute. You should keep this document safe for future reference.

Effect of a Decree Absolute
Once the Decree Absolute is granted, you are legally divorced. You will be free to remarry if you wish.

There are a number of implications, including:

  • You will no longer be eligible for any benefits through your former spouse’s pension or life insurance if they predecease you.
  • Your former spouse’s will shall be automatically varied, meaning you will receive no benefit from it. There is a limited exception, however, if the will was prepared in expectation of divorce. For more information, please contact our probate team here.
  • If your former spouse has no will, you will not inherit anything under the rules of intestacy.
  • If you jointly hold property as joint tenants, the right of survivorship will no longer apply. However, at Curzon Green, we endeavour to resolve these issues prior to the grant of Decree Absolute.
  • If you continue to live in a property owned in the sole name of your former spouse, you will lose the protection of Matrimonial Home Rights. Again, we endeavour to resolve these issues prior to the grant of the Decree Absolute.
  • Any claims on any money that your former spouse inherits or wins, for example by winning the lottery, would be weakened.

For these reasons, it is often very important to resolve financial disputes prior to making an application for Decree Absolute.

Please contact us today for a free no obligation discussion by calling us on one of the four telephone numbers referred to at the top of this page, or by email:

Our Family Law Specialists