Difference between decree nisi and decree absolute in divorce | LawHive - Solicitors & Lawyers Online

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Difference between decree nisi and decree absolute in divorce

Difference between decree nisi and decree absolute in divorce

Decree nisi and decree absolute are two stages in a divorce.

There are 4 stages in total:


If you're the person seeking the divorce, the petition is how to get started. You fill out an application form and send it to the nearest divorce court. You also need to include a copy for your spouse and a certified copy of your marriage certificate.


If you didn't start the divorce then you are the respondent. If you oppose the divorce, you have 21 days to send a form to court explaining your reasons.

You can also decide to start a divorce petition of your own against your spouse.

Decree Nisi

The decree nisi is a decision by a judge that they can't see any reason why the divorce shouldn't go ahead.

If the respondent opposes the divorce, there will be a hearing.

Decree Absolute

The decree absolute is the legal document that ends the marriage. The petitioner can apply for a decree absolute 6 weeks after the judge approves the decree nisi.

The marriage ends once the judge approves the decree absolute.

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