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Delaying the Decree Absolute: another look at Miller Smith v Miller Smith

If one party wants the divorce to be finalised but the other does not, and the parties’ finances have not been resolved, may the decree absolute be delayed?

Let’s begin with the basics. The divorce process in England is conducted in three stages:

1. The issue of a divorce petition.
2. The grant of a divorce decree nisi by the court.
3. Obtaining a certificate of decree absolute from the court office.

The Petitioner, who has initiated the process, files the marriage certificate on issue of the divorce petition. It remains lodged with the court and in return, on decree absolute, the certificate bearing the court seal is the effective “swap.” The parties are legally divorced only when there has been a grant of decree absolute. When a divorced person wishes to remarry, a sealed copy of the decree absolute must be produced as evidence the party is legally free to do so. It is possible to be fully divorced without a financial settlement being resolved.

At decree nisi stage the parties are almost, but not quite, divorced. The parties are still able to change their minds about getting divorced. That is why it is called nisi: the Latin term for “unless.” There is a six week and one day minimum mandatory period between grant of decree nisi and decree absolute, so that if the couple do want to change their minds, they will remain married. It happens rarely – but it does happen. I have one client who has twice obtained decree nisi from her husband, only to backtrack from the point at which the divorce was to be finalised. So it is a worthwhile part of the procedure and serves its purpose.

In most cases, however, too much water has passed under the bridge and the obtaining of decree absolute is public recognition that the parties, who are already divorced in body and mind, are now legally divorced. For most, it is the beginning of a new life and new, guilt-free relationships.

In some cases there is, in fact, a rush to decree absolute. For example, if there is a potential bankruptcy on the horizon and a financial settlement needs to be implemented. Or if there is a new baby on the way, and an urgent need to remarry. I have been involved in one case where in such a case, exceptionally, the mandatory period was shortened.

This post considers the opposite position: when one party does not want to be divorced so long as the finances remain unresolved.

Applying for the decree absolute

It is a straightforward process to obtain a decree absolute. A single sheet application in a standard form is signed and handed in to the court office, together with a fee of £40. The court office seals and issues a certificate of decree absolute. Sometimes, however, the Petitioner refuses to apply. Perhaps emotionally, it seems a step too far, too soon – and the Petitioner, despite having initiated the process, cannot bring him self or herself to take the final step. So the Respondent may also apply, three months after the earliest date that the Petitioner could have done so, and that application too is usually a formality. Sometimes the parties agree at the outset that neither of them will apply for decree absolute until all the issues between them are resolved.

In fact there are occasions when, legally, it is unwise to apply for decree absolute. One example is when vital benefits could be lost if one party was to predecease the other without a court order being in place for a financial settlement – and if the losing party cannot properly be compensated out of the other assets for the loss. It is very rare indeed for someone to die during divorce proceedings, but it can still happen. It has happened in two of my cases over the last 20 years. Benefits such as a widow’s pension,  automatically payable under  a husband’s pension scheme, may be lost if the husband dies suddenly and there is a decree absolute, but the financial side is still rumbling on and no financial court order is in place.

Similarly, a religious divorce may be required to be in place before the parties are finally divorced. It is important to be aware of the possibility. Lawyers do argue then about the circumstances in which decree absolute should be delayed. Of course, it is always wise to consider your own position with your solicitor, before agreeing to decree absolute.

Decree absolute and the law

In the case of Miller Smith v Miller Smith (No 2) (2009 EWHC3623), a case on which I have posted before, my firm represented the husband. The Petitioner husband obtained his decree nisi of divorce, and the wife applied for the decree absolute to be postponed. She failed.  The facts of the case are set out in the law report and I do not intend to comment on them. I write only in relation to the law.

In paragraph 17 of his judgment Mr Justice Baker set out the law, having heard submissions from James Turner QC for the husband and John Wilson for the wife. He made reference to the statutory powers that the court has, outlining the circumstances in which the court “shall not” or “may” make a decree absolute under sections 8-10A of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. These include delaying decree absolute until financial provision has been made in certain divorces which are proceeding on a separation basis, and delaying decree absolute when a religious divorce is required to be put in place first.

After considering the statutory powers and following legal argument from both sides, His Lordship also found that there is an “inherent jurisdiction” of the High Court to delay making a decree absolute in appropriate cases. The case of England v England (1980) 10 Family Law 86 was a Court of Appeal decision where the court delayed decree absolute until a maintenance order had been made in favour of the children. The Court of Appeal followed the much earlier cases of Bromberg v Bromberg (1962) and also in Parks v Parks (1971), where Lord Denning in the Court of Appeal had stayed making the decree absolute because the financial settlement between the parties was set aside for material non-disclosure. (That’s an interesting idea!)

The more recent case (although unreported) of Dart v Dart in 1995 was also a Court of Appeal case. The Court held that the husband, who was also seeking his decree absolute, was entitled to it unless the wife “could show special circumstances to defer it”. She could not.

Citing Dart, Mr Justice Baker held that the power to delay decree absolute “is an exercise of discretion of the trial judge but that exercise of discretion weights the granting of the decree absolute against the special circumstances very heavily in favour of the grant. It is not a balancing exercise in the ordinary sense”.

One of the arguments in Dart was the most common argument for a delay, namely that of the husband’s possible death prior to the finances being resolved – and therefore the wife being worse off. Lady Justice Butler Sloss (as she was then) pointed out that Mrs Dart had claims under the Inheritance Act 1975, which were sufficient to meet all her legitimate claims. Therefore Mrs Dart would suffer no prejudice, despite the inconvenience of having to make her application.

That is the important point for practitioners to bear in mind. It is not only that potential benefits may be lost; but also that the wife may be prevented, because of death, of pursuing her same claims against the estate that she would in the financial proceedings against her husband.

Given that there is heavy weighting in favour of the grant of decree absolute, before an application is made only on the basis that there would be a potential loss of a widow’s pension, practitioners should consider the overall likely financial award to their client on divorce – and whether the husband’s estate could still meet it. If it could, then an application for delaying decree absolute could result only in a potentially heavy costs award against an unhappy client.


The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Joe says:

    What if a finanacial settlement has been agreed and endorsed by the court but the petitioner fails to apply for decree absolute for some considerable time? Would the financial settlement be capable of amendment by one party or the other if one of those partiy’s financial circumstances materially alter?

  2. steve says:

    What if an Financial Dispute Resolution FDR date had been agreed, and the Plaintiff mistakenly applies – and is granted – the Decree Absolute without a full resolution or agreement of the financial staus of two parties ie before the FDR takes place?

  3. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Steve it generally doesnt matter. Without explaining your specific problem I cant add anything else!
    Do note there may be a problem if one party dies between Decree Absolute and agreement or order in relation to the finances – automatic benefits payable to a spouse on death, may be lost.
    The grant of a divorce before a financial settlement is agreed or ordered may also prove to be a problem if a religious divorce is also required.

  4. steve says:

    Thank you.

    My ex-wife applied for an Absolute without my knowledge, and someone has said that because the financials have not been agreed, there may be an advantage to me in that the Courts had no jurisdiction over my pensions.

    Is that right?

    Has my ex-wife made any mistakes?

  5. Marilyn Stowe says:

    I think confusion has probably arisen because of the legal position for the surviving spouse on death of the other in relation to the deceased’s pension if there is Decree Absolute but the financial position hasn’t been resolved.
    But as with everyone who seeks advice on the blog, don’t rely on me – check your own situation with your own lawyer.

  6. Rita Royal says:

    hello, my question is…
    can my husbands ex wife claim on his house, in brief….it was their matriimonial home she committed adultery and went to live with her man, she asked for a clean break of £30,000.00 which he gave her and she signed the house and it’s debts over to him which when they split was over “£40k plus the mortgage and he had to remortgage to pay her the money. now after a period of 7 years plus she wants him to sell the house and pay any interest acrued to their children which is what he’d verbally agreed to do at the point of the split and has no intentions of not paying them but can she dictate when it has to be done? where does he stand legally? surely there’s a time limitation clause to protect the parties involved?
    yours faithfully,

  7. Marilyn Stowe says:

    What does the court order say?
    If there was a clean break and the house is in his name I don’t see how she can oblige him to sell it.

  8. Rita Royal says:

    Thanks for the reply, there has been no court order, the decree absolute was 2004 and there was nothing else since, the only thing is that nothing was written down as they both wanted it over and done with as quick as possible, she wanted to move on with her partner and he just wanted peace although the children stayed with him until they eventually set up their own homes
    but since it was said the he was remarrying, which he has now done, she got in contact with a solicitor about the agreement they had regarding the profits of the house going to the kids,
    can they make him homeless and force him to sell the house?

    with regards

  9. Marilyn Stowe says:

    It seems pretty clear that if he paid her the lump sum and she transferred the house, he took over the mortgage and everything continued as agreed that even if she applied to the
    court it would uphold the agreement.
    He now has a choice of doing nothing and waiting for his ex to make a move, or making an application to the court for an order in terms of the agreement.
    He needs to take legal advice to decide what to do.
    Personally I’d stop worrying, because I can’t see why a court would force him to sell on the basis of what you are saying.
    He does need to check with a solicitor however to make sure the facts are correct and then be fully advised on the law.

  10. Rita Royal says:


    Once again thank you for your reply, it’s lifted a bit of worry for him he’s going to seek legal advice as advised thank you for taking the time.
    with regards

  11. Mark says:


    my wife filed a divorce after we were separated for one year under unreasonable behaviour, she used false reason accusing me of admitting to her i am homosexual.
    she is living with her boyrfriend at the mone , the one she left me for, he used to be her ex bf. i dont agree with the reason she mentioned as they are not true , but in another hand i was told defending the petetion costs lot of money. so if i refuse to divorce her to delay the procdess for another year or more , and here in the uk if u r separated more than 2 yrs then u can obtain divorce with out giving reason.. is it the right thing to do ????? bear in mind i dont wish to spend lot of money for defending the petetion or cros petetion????????? any help please??????

  12. Mark says:


  13. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Mark your enquiries are good examples of why divorce should be “no fault”
    I dont agree with forcing couples to look backwards and criticise each other in order to divorce. It makes things worse.However, at the moment that is what must happen if one party wants to divorce quickly and not wait for at least two years. The Family Law Protocol was introduced in order to make things less unpleasant and you should ideally have received a draft petition to approve before it was issued. I assume you did not.
    There are things you can still do, which are not particularly expensive but they sound tricky to a non lawyer which is why I suggest you see a solicitor.
    You should file the acknowledgement of service which accompanied the petition straight away at court. You have options when you complete it -saying you do not agree the contents of the petition but are not defending because of the cost,(and that will resolve the problem for you) and you object to paying her costs, or that you intend to defend and cross petition based on her adultery. If you do the latter, you get a 28 day automatic extension of time before your wife can proceed, for you to actually defend and cross petition and reach agreement about paying the costs of the divorce. It would be costly however to go all the way to a full hearing.
    But, having lodged the Acknowledgement, you would then use the 28 day period to try and get the petition amended by agreement with your wife or her solicitors, an agreement about costs and if you do decide to defend and cross petition on her adultery you can then offer to proceed on your cross petition, hers to be stayed or for there to be cross decrees, so you divorce her and she divorces you. Again all on the basis of no order for costs.
    Family solicitors know all the above and all the risks, so you should instruct someone fast to fully advise you on all the facts, because there is only a week for filing the Acknowledgement of Service from the date of servce and if your wife can prove service of the petition on you, she could proceed to apply for a Decree Nisi of Divorce, straight away. If your wife has done this you could still apply to the court for an extension of time.
    Im sorry this is complicated, and I know this might read like gobbledegook, but you are entitled in law to protect yourself. I can only outline the law in a difficult area in need of reform, your solicitor will advise you further about what you should do.

  14. Mark says:

    yes i received the petetion draft from her lawyer where she states i admitted to her i am homosexual that is how i found this out , i have instructed a lawyer and she made a draft that wont offend each others for her lawyer to use for the divorce(negotiation) and my wife refused it , i was told that by my lawyer that she is deliberately want to hurt me. so now she said the better way to do it is to say go ahead with divorce proceeding but i dont accept the allegation she made. defending or cross petetion i was told is so expensive , so i cant afford paying this costs and also she told me it is highly unsuccesful also my wife covered by legal aid so ishe wont spend any money from her poket at all …she wont even pay it back legal aid money as she will leave uk after her course , i am so annoyed with this uk law for divorce , it means anyone who apply for the divorce first are the victims and the respondent are the guilty ones it is very unfair , law should be adjusted. i am sure the court receive too many complaints about this they need to look into it.
    my worry now by accepting for the divorce to go ahead and not accepting the allegation wont affect me to remarry again …… is horrible and nasty of her to do this …………
    so when you say i dont accept the cost for her divorce , my lawyer did not advice me about that yet.

  15. Michael James says:

    Hi Marilyn
    my friend is 57 her husband is 60. they are going through a very messy and expensive divorce.
    FDR is due shortly, to be followed by a decree absolute some time after.
    Her problem is that he has deliberately had his hours reduced by 1/3 and subsequently his salary has reduced also.
    She knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt that, once the absolute is granted, his salary will revert back to full pay.
    Obviiously this current reduction in salary will affect his CETV and she is worried that her pension share will not be a feflection of his true worth. I know about ‘earmarking’ and the risks, but my question to you is simply, can an order be made against his final pension.

  16. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Hi Michael
    Your question isn’t easy to understand and raises quite a few issues. First should your friend proceed to DA proceed without a financial order in place? Check because there is no guarantee the FDR will be successful.
    Second the most common order a court will make is a pension sharing order based on a fair division of the current value of the fund but also by reference to a fair division of all the other assets which will also be considered. An ear marking order is now rare because of the risks. It’s up to your friend to seek specific advise from her lawyers because she is of an age where a guaranteed net of tax income to meet her needs for the rest of her life is critical out of the available assets. The Duxbury tables are a rough guide.
    Third maintenance if it is still payable, can be set so as to either ignore the drop if the court
    considers it to be a devise, or to increase in line with increases in income until her husband retires.
    Without more formation I can only give you a rough guide as to the usual approach and I hope it helps.

    • Paul says:


      I am looking to find out if my ex can put a pause on the decree absolute once granted as she is now looking to claim finically.

  17. Jasmine says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    My partner ( the respondent ) filed for and was duly granted a decree absolute at the end of March.

    In mid-April he received a letter about a court hearing on May 7th to discuss the absolute being issued in error. He was not in a position to attend, but sent a letter to the courts asking them to uphold the absolute as the statement of arrangements for children and a financial agreement are both in place.

    Yesterday he received notice that the absolute has been set aside pending a hearing on July 5th.

    When he filed for the absolute the court sent it by return post and as such his ex-wife wasn’t given the opportunity to attend.

    Given that all elements were in place, and both sides are happy, could the judge at the hearing have let the absolute stand?

    I’ve tried googling this any which way but can’t find any other examples of a court setting aside an absolute because they’ve made a mistake!

  18. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Hi Jasmine,

    Because your partner is the Respondent, he would have to apply on notice for the decree to be made absolute but it seems his wife was never served and therefore knew nothing about the application. It looks as though the Court did act in error simply by issuing the Decree Absolute.

    Because she hadnt been correctly served, the Court does have power to set aside the Decree.

    However, as everything is agreed, I dont see why he is not entitled to the Decree anyhow?

    It will probably just be a case of them both attending a short appointment before the District Judge to confirm the position and he will then make the necessary Order.

    However, to be on the safe side, as I am not in possession of all the facts I would definately suggest checking with his solicitor, because I dont understand why his wife/her solicitor if she had one, didnt immediately apply for Decree Absolute once everything was agreed. And why his solicitor didnt ensure this had happened, if he also had one at the time.

    He might also speak to the Court office to confirm the situation also.

    Best wishes,


  19. Katie says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    My husband applied for the decree absulute on Friday. I am a little worried as we have not sorted out the finances yet. He seems to think that I will not be entilted to any of his pension now. We have a house in joint names where I currently reside in with our child.

    I have just instructed a solicitor and have made an appt for myself and my husband to attend mediation.

    Can you please confirm if what I have done is correct. Also can you tell me how long it will take for the absulute to come through once applied for.

    Many Thanks


    • hi sonja says:

      hi my experience is I’ve been told if the decree nisi comes and finaces are not sorted will lose lump sum of his pension. I will be phoning his solicitors tomorrow asking them to hold until the finaces r done but don’t know if I left it to late the six weeks could be up and I could lose it because I didn’t know. make sure you do and have it in writing to cover you.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear All
        That is not true. You will not lose your entitlement to a pension share. You might lose a widows benefit or suffer some other loss in the event of his death or DA before the finances are sorted. Each case is different. You need to check exactly what you do stand to lose, not simply guess. Ask a pensions adviser.
        Do remember it is possible to make an immediate application to postpone DA until after the finances are sorted if you find yourself affected. The court will make the order if the loss you would sustain cannot be compensated out of the other assets.

  20. Marilyn Stowe says:


    If you haven’t already seen a solicitor, you should see one straight away so you can be fully advised about your entitlement.

    Do not remarry if you are intending to do so, without first making sure you have issued a financial application arising out of this divorce. In fact if you are considering remarriage or cohabitation with someone else, then you should take legal advice first. This may not apply to you, but could apply to other readers who are also respondents in divorce proceedings, as you seem to be, if your husband has simply applied for Decree Absolute without a hearing.

    The issue of the grant of Decree Absolute (which is simply a paper process done in the court office, then they send out the certificates to both of you) does not mean that you have no claim on your husband’s pension.

    We tend to advise some clients not to apply for Decree Absolute so they don’t lose automatic benefits to which they would be entitled in the event of a spouse’s death before a settlement is in place. But dont worry too much about this.
    Take legal advice about your full capital and income entitlements and don’t enter into mediation before you are fully informed about the entirety of your husband’s financial position and feel confident you can handle negotiations.

    I think that’s what lawyers are there to do – I would say that, wouldn’t I – but it is our job and it seems from what you write that you are far less clued up about this process than you should be. It’s your life, your divorce and your financial settlement, remember. Even if funds are tight, getting good legal advice is for you, and anyone going through this process, a prerequisite to any settlement.

    Best wishes,


  21. Katie says:

    Thank you Marilyn,

    I am not planning to remarry now or in the near future, can think of nothing worse after going through all this.

    I went to see a solicitor on Mon and she has advised me on my financial position so I am feeling more confident about mediation, lets just hope it works.

    My main concern was the absolute coming through first and loosing out as a result, but you have cleared this up for me.

    Thank you


  22. Belinda says:

    My question is this: what are the possible reasons behind the judge delaying in granting an absolute when there is no financial settlement and no children involved.
    Thank you

  23. Marilyn Stowe says:

    A judge can only act in accordance with the law and should fully explain his reasons, which are available in writing by obtaining a copy of the transcript, and are always potentially subject to appeal.

  24. claudia says:

    Hi my question is: my husband solicitor send a draft order where it said that i acept £65.000 to transfer the house to my exhusband name, i have signed it becous i thougt it was right to have half each; but i have an 18 months old baby and we living in a room, i think he should move out for my son and i to live in the house becous the house is register in both our names and do the setlement later when he is older and dived it between the three of us.Can this still be possible if my solicitor send the papers signed to my exhusband solicitor

  25. Marilyn Stowe says:


    You must see a solicitor immediately. Today if possible. Please get some urgent legal advice. I have no idea what’s been going on here but it may still not be too late.

    Do something urgently for the sake of you and your child.


  26. Cody says:

    I am currently at the Decree Nisi stage of my divorce. I am the respondent in the divorce. The Decree Nisi was issued 27 August 2010. My wife has dragged her feet for months on the FDR. The court is now requiring that I submit a mountain of information about some holdings I have offshore (I am American and she is British). Both my wife and I are unemployed and receiving Job Seekers allowance and thus receiving Legal Aid. This process of the FDR in my opinion could have been finalised months ago but now isn’t scheduled for another hearing until 17 November 2011. We have traded Form Es before out court hearing on 10 June and my wife’s solicitors claimed that they didn’t have time to review the Form E so somehow the Barister representing my wife, convinced the judge that he should have more time to review the documents and that I should provide more information about my offshore holdings which were outlined in detail in the Form E already. My question is can I apply for a Decree Absolute and bypass all this ridiculous British Legal Posturing? As it has now been 11 months since the Decree Nisi was issued, I am legally able, as the respondent, to apply for a Decree Absolute as I understand it. Is that true? What would happen to the FDR process if the Decree Absolute was granted before the next hearing? Is that even possible?

  27. Michelle says:

    Hi Marilyn, the nisi is due to be issued/agreed this week, however, no financial settlement is in place, the ex-husband to be does not have his name on any deeds, nor did he contribute directly to the mortgage, nor maintenance of the house – yet he has applied for a charge against the house and is now claiming that he is entitled to 50% of the value of the house – which currently houses a 17yr old son (not his!) – however, he is offering to accept a settlement of GBP25K in exchange for making no further claim against the property. There has been some domestic abuse (him to her)
    should she offer to settle with a lump sum, or does she have grounds to refuse any financial settlement? – they have no children together, he works earning approx. same salary as her

  28. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Cody and Michelle.
    Thanks for your enquiries. There are lawyers involved in both cases so you must ask them for specifics.
    Grant of a Decree Absolute ends a marriage and it is the issue of a certificate in a court office. It can be made on request by the Petitioner without a financial settlement being in place. A petitioner may apply for Decree Absolute six weeks and one day after Decree Nisi unless the Respondent seeks earlier to prevent it, in which case the Respondent must apply to the court to prevent Decree Absolute, and the above case is an example.
    A Respondent may apply for Decree Absolute if the Petitioner refuses, 12 weeks after the 6 week1day period has elapsed. But instead of filing a request, which is all the Petitioner needs to do, this has to be by application to the court and the Petitioner must be served with the application and has the right to object. Again the basis of the objection must have real merit in law.
    A Decree Absolute can also be indefinately postponed where a religious divorce needs to be completed and this avoids a ‘limping marriage:- being ended in civil law but still subsisting in the parties religious law.
    I hope this helps.

  29. Cody says:

    Thanks for your response. Can you please clarify your point about the respondent filing an application for Decree Absolute “…this has to be by application to the court and the Petitioner must be served with the application and has the right to object. Again the basis of the objection must have real merit in law.” What would constitute “real merit in law”? Would this include a lack of formal agreement as to contact/custody of the children? Would this include lack of closure in the FDR process? As the not-at-home Father who spends as much time with his his kids as possible, I want to know if a lack of formal agreement on contact before Decree Absolute will adversely affect my legal rights to see my kids. Also, where would that leave the FDR if it is not yet completed when Decree Absolute is granted? Thanks again for your comments.

  30. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Hi Cody
    You need to consult your lawyers as to whether you can hold up your DA. I cant advise you. they have all the relevant information not me.
    The arrangements for the children were considered by the Judge before Decree Nisi and it’s at that point you would normally object to grant of a decree in relation to children matters.

  31. Cody says:


    You misunderstood. I don’t want to hold-up the DA I want to push it ahead but just want to know what the potential ramifications are for the existing FDR currently in process and contact with my kids if it goes ahead.



  32. sebs says:

    Hi Marilyn

    A matter where an applicant for divorce dies before the matter of divorce is finalized ,how does the court dissolve or approach that matter.will the matter be regarded as of the divorced otherwise

  33. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Hi Sebs
    There can be no divorce in English law if one party dies before the divorce is made absolute.

  34. Suz says:

    I have seen several places that say you should have a clean break agreed etc. However if there is no house,savings or assets from marriage as rented for whole period, both earn same salary and there are no children and the marriage was only 16 months is this necesarry and could they have a claim on any future assets after the decree absolute is granted. Thanks

  35. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Decree Absolute does not give you a financial clean break. You must jointly apply for a clean break and the court order will then end all claims both of you have against the other, past present or future.
    Take legal advice from a solicitor about the procedure.

  36. Suz says:

    Thank you. The plan was not to do one as there are no assets or anything that is worth splitting would this be ok?

  37. Marilyn Stowe says:

    No! If you want absolute certainty for the future, you will need a court order.

  38. Yvie says:

    My son received his decree absolute in April 2010. He has never had any copies of the financial arrangements settled upon either from his solicitor or the Courts. I am puzzled and worried about this.

  39. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Hi Yvie. No point in puzzling. Ask your son to speak to his solicitor straight away and find out.
    Don’t worry about the DA being in place, it shouldn’t affect the financial settlement but I agree there is usually a court order about finances on divorce.
    It may be that terms are still being agreed or the court has raised a query.
    Best wishes,

  40. Yvie says:

    Hi Marilyn – I am so surprised to receive a prompt reply on a Bank Holiday. Thank you for responding. Can I explain what has happened. My son during the divorce talks agreed to transfer his share of the property to his ex. He has never seen anything about this in writing though. he received a letter recently (about three weeks ago) from his solicitor with a document from the other side. The building society were happy to transfer the property but he had to remain on the mortgage with responsibility for the mortgate and sign he was in agreement with this. His ex. has been paying the mortgage now for nearly two years and he is renting a property. He is OK about transferring the property but thought that his ex. would either remortage or sell the property and take profits. He has concerned that once his ex. is the sole owner she may borrow further on the property and he would be liable for any extra borrowing also. He phoned his solicitor to say he was not happy to sign the document in its present form. She said she would get back to him after looking at the Orders.

    Coming off the the telephone, he then realised he had never had any correspondence or Orders connected with his divorce. There was a letter from him to his solicitor dated 10 November 2010, asking specifically about this. There was no reply to that letter. There was however, a letter saying that she was closing the file. He hand delivered a further letter to the office two weeks ago asking why he had had no correspondence on the financial settlement. She has not replied to him as yet and no-body has telephone him to confirm receipt of the letter.

  41. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Dear Yvie
    This all sounds very odd. It seems as though there has been a complete breakdown in communication if the solicitor has written to say she is closing the file and not responded since. Is there an outstanding account? Has he kept her fully instructed? Why would she not conclude the case? Are there two solicitors involved, one in the matrimonial side the other doing the conveyancing? it’s not clear. Either way he needs to find out.
    The current firm (if it’s the same firm as the matrimonial firm) must have a complaints procedure and if he is being ignored, I suggest he asks for a copy and uses it.
    He could also consult a new solicitor if he wishes in a separate firm and ask for advise about his position.
    It doesn’t seem as though there is a full agreement or an order in place and so until there is an agreement which he is happy with and an order then he mustn’t sign up to anything else.
    That’s as far as I can go, he needs to contact the people with the answers.
    Finally for completeness, I should also mention the Legal Services Ombudsman but I think they will expect him to go through the firm’s complaints procedure first.

  42. Yvie says:

    No problem with the bills, the final cheque was enclosed (and cashed) with the letter to her of 10 November 2010 asking about financial correspondence. The one solicitor has been dealing with his divorce and also children’s matter (fully paid also). he produced his pension documents and bank statements as requested which he assumed would be sent to the Court. He has never had any concerns about his solicitor previously. She has always seemed on the ball and very competent.

    I would imagine that she closed the case because she thought it was all finalised. In that same letter to her, my son also asked for the return of his pensions documents. They were not returned. I telephoned a few weeks later to ask about them and was told the file had gone to storage and needed to be retrieved. The pension documents were eventually returned.

    There is a complaints procedure, the firm is very well known in the area. I think my son would like it sorted without a formal complaint if possible.

    My son has no intention of signing this document as it stands, but is OK about the house going to his ex. he has two children. I am relieved you think he shouldnt sign until he has further information.

  43. Neil says:


    Sorry to bother you, i was wondering if you could give some general advice on the divorce procedure?

    I currently am the respondant, i have my decree nisi and it is now 6wks since recieving it, my ex-wife will no doubt be applying for the decree absolute within the next day or 2, as of yet finances haven’t been mentioned, on the original petition all the boxes were marked stating a future financial order could be applied for.

    Can i ask the latest you can apply for a financial order? If a decree absolute is granted in the next few days and nothing has been applied for in terms of financial orders what rights are there, can your ex apply for financial orders after this date?

    Sorry im sure it’s quite a basic question, the whole divorce process is so confusing, and as of yet i haven’t needed a solicitor so have been unable to get much advice on the whole process.

  44. Marilyn Stowe says:

    The common mistake people make is thinking that the decree process affects their entitlement to a financial settlement. It doesn’t. After Decree Nisi the court can make final orders and after decree absolute the orders can be implemented.

    But the entitlement to a settlement is unaffected.

    So you can apply at any time UNLESS you have remarried. That will affect your entitlements particularly if you are the Respondent to the divorce.

    So don’t remarry until the finances are resolved.

    But the above is only general advice, and remember that there are losses which do automatically occur as a result of decree absolute, such as widow’s pension where the remaining assets are insufficient to compensate for that loss.

    So you mustn’t rely upon this response, which is intended only as general advice – and you should consult your own solicitor to advise you properly about your own position in law.

    As an aside I just don’t understand why people are so reluctant to do so. Surely it’s worth half on hour of a professional’s time to get the facts? If you wouldn’t pull out your own teeth, diagnose your own illness, mend your own washing machine – why are you so reluctant to find out about your position in law?!

  45. Neil says:


    Thank you for the advice, after posting the message i found some information and realised a financial order can be granted in years to come.

    Once the decree absolute is through i will have to attempt to file for a clean break order, i will be seeking advice on this before going down that route..

    The only reason i have not received legal advice so far is i have only had to fill in the petition, after checking the form it all seemed fairly straight forward so i did it myself, also the cost was a factor in this, i did check for solicitors in my area but they were all so much i made a choice to only use them when i really needed to, my “ex”-wife is using a solicitors and getting legal aid for it so i am at a slight disadvantage!

    Thanks again for responding to my query!

  46. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Pleasure and Thank you for thanking me!
    Not everyone does……They must think I’m a robot just sitting here waiting to answer questions…..
    If they saw me today racing down High Holborn Fulwood Place ( my office) Chancery Lane Hare Court Kings Bench Walk Fleet Street …..they might see I’m a busy lawyer!

  47. Neil says:

    I can see you have been responding to questions on this entry for nearly a year now, i’m impressed! I’m sure your advice is always appreciated even if people don’t always thank you!

  48. Carol says:

    Hi Marilyn, I am witing on behalf of my Daughter-in-Law,who I have been supporting through her divorce. She got the decree nisi in November 2010, and was advised by her Solicitor to delay the absolute as my Son was declared bankrupt in October, and so financial arrangements were not agreed. She has a daughter aged 20yrs and a son of 18 yrs who are both in full-time education. She has had an order to attend a court hearing on 13th September.She is in the process of changing Solicitors as she has not been happy with the old one. The new Solicitor has only just received the documents, and is away on holiday this week, so has advised my Daughter-in-law to attend the hearing and represent hersellf. We have no contact with my Son, but have found out that his bankruptcy was discharged in March 2010 and no-one informed her. The house has been on the market for nearly 3 years and there is not much equity in it. She is un-employed and receives Job Seekers allowance and Child Tax credits. So financially she is not good. She is actively seekin work. As she is worried about the hearing tomorrow can you give me a bit of advice, to help her through this. The marriage lasted over 20 years and my Son left her in April 2010.Your comments would be appreciated.

  49. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Hi Carol
    You don’t say what the hearing is and what your son is applying for. I assume he is seeking the divorce decree to be made absolute before a financial order is in place?
    If so, is there anything your daughter in law would automatically lose if there is decree absolute beforehand? For example your sons pension which may still be intact. Are there automatic widowns benefits under the policy that would no longer go to her if they were to divorce and he to die suddenly? Has he disclosed a pension?
    I’m wondering whether the solicitor advised your daughter in law about the hearing and advised what to do? If not, if it’s important, she could ask for an adjournment until her solicitor has the papers, is back from holiday and up to speed?
    Best wishes

  50. Anon says:

    You are supporting your ex daughter-in-law against your Son, I think you need to re-assess and get your priorities right. It’s like the son’s going on the radio to slag of their Dad’s for wrong-doing, that is wrong. Family is family. You stand by them no matter what. Even the law recognises that and you can’t be forced to testify against your own family. Strewth.

  51. sally says:

    Hi hope you can help as the situation for us has come to a stand still .My partner of 3 years still has his name on a mortgage with his ex wife. She is living with another partner but despite many attempts by us she does not respond to correspondece from him asking for his name to be removed from the mortgage she also has not responded to his solicitor with regards to the decree absolute. Originally it was agreed that the house should be sold but 18 months ago she took the house off the market even though my partner did not agree to this, and we can get no further information. There are no children between them. Do you have any advice on how we can proceed with this ?

  52. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Tell your partner to get some legal advise. If there is a court order then it needs to be enforced and he could apply for an order for sale if his wife is defaulting. If there isn’t a court order then he needs to get one and enforce it. He also can make his own application for Decree Absolute.
    So he needs to get on with it!

  53. paul taylor says:

    me and my x wife , have sorted everything out , but she sends in the paper work for the absolute but wont pay ,twice this has happened , what can i do , 5 years this has taken

  54. shegun says:

    please i need your help. i have just a decree NISI with false allegations from my ex-wife. She was violence to me . And that is what i used to apply for stay in UK. But now she used false allegation against me that i behaved to her unreasonably . And the court accept it as i did not contest it, even as i have some genuine proves of what she did to me. But my lawyer was saying they all knew that she just wanted me to be charge. As she lost the non molestation order she first made against me.
    But am a bit scare now as i don’t know how this might affect me when am applying for my applying for british passport next year. Though we have a child together but i don’t want leave with her any more . As her father was sleeping with her and he still want to be sleeping with her. As she get a child for her the same father. I am not even really sure if my daughter is even my biological child. Am on indefinite to live in UK now and i only apply for british passport next year November. But if something like this can still affect my status here in UK. Thank you.

  55. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Paul If she won’t, why don’t you pay the court fee?
    Shegun You need immigration advice. Sorry but I can’t help you.

  56. Cat says:

    Hi Marilyn
    I hope you’ve had a good Christmas. I have a quick question which I would be so grateful if you could answer- I am remarrying in April, with a wedding booked. However I still need my decree absolute! We have just finalised our financial side & all consent order etc are signed by both parties. The decree nisi was 15 months ago as it has all gone so slowly (husband simply dragging feet.) Is getting an absolute now just a case of taking £45 & a form to court- how long will it take? I’ve heard it can be issued the same day? Will I have to include an affidavit-what should this say? I’m getting very nervous as the wedding date approaches! I would be most grateful for your advice.

  57. Marilyn Stowe says:

    When you are applying for decree absolute more than 12 months after decree nisi you need to send a letter and possibly a statement of truth to the court with the application and cheque.
    You need to explain why you haven’t applied earlier, whether you have lived together since decree nisi and whether any child has been born to either of you and if so whether the child is a child of the family.
    Best wishes,

  58. Cat says:

    Thanks Marilyn I really appreciate your help & the link.

  59. Marie says:

    Hi, I wonder if you can please help me to put my mind at rest a little. I have received my decree nisi and the decree absolute is due to be applied for on 12th Jan 2012. My husband was supposed to sign the managed consent order, which he’d agreed on the figures for, however has now been to see a solicitor and refuses to speak to me about what the solicitor has said. The house was bought in my sole name, but whilst we were married, in France. My two questions are a) is it possible that his solicitor may be able to postpone the decree absolute being granted on the basis that my husband is not satisfied with some part of the financial arrangement, b) is it possible he would be able to claim for part of my house? I live here with my 2 children (not his). We had both agreed to go our separate ways and to not to claim for anything from one another. The decree nisi was issued due to a breakdown in our marriage and his violent and aggressive domestic and sexual nature.

  60. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Hi Marie
    I can’t advise you without further information. I would suggest you arrange to see a solicitor and take advice. English law does not have a community property regime whereby property is simply divided up. The court will consider all the assets of the parties, both income and capital and then apply the factors of section 25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. In deciding the order to make, the court will particularly take into account the needs of the children.
    Don’t panic, the court will make a fair order and it may be you can argue the agreement you have already reached is fair in all the circumstances eg if you are not seeking any income for you and the children who I suspect will still be treated as children of the family by the courts, even though they are not his. You do need some specific legal advice.
    As for Decree Absolute if you are the petitioner you can apply notwithstanding the finances, but again take legal advice before you do. If you are the respondent you have to wait a further twelve weeks after January 12 before you may apply.
    Best wishes

  61. Anganie says:

    Hi Marilyn, I am the respondent, my husband is the petitioner, the decree nisi was granted on 7th February 2011, he has now applied for the decree absolute, our hearing date is in April 2012, could you please give me a little info on what my rights are in terms of financial settlement if I am entitled to any?? Thanks

  62. anna says:

    hi Marilyn..
    The petitioner was anxious to filem proceedings against me, even placed an advert in the paper. finally I conceded and did not challenged his petition and out nisi was granted six weeks an application for final decree should be filed now.. I was certain he would apply for the decree, he has a child now and a` live in girlfriend. After the mental anguish and heartache he put me through these last few months, I wanted this absolute to put closure to the matter. Now he is saying that his instructed his solicitor to file and there is no proof of this when I checked at the Family Court.. Ive written to his lawyer and himself and no response, why is he backsliding now? I dont think its emotional reasons at all. He despises me and further to that, all financial issues between us were settled.. bearing in mind that he is cohabiting with his partner and child, can I ask the court to compel him in some way to give me the absolute.. Its been dragging on for too long !

  63. Chris says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    My decree nisi was issued in March2011 our case went to court in Dec and all financials are sorted out.It was agreed that the house be sold and she got 25 per cent of my pension.In order for her to claim my pension the decree absolute must be issued.How long do i have to wait its been 30 days now and i have not heard anything.
    Can she still not apply for the absolute and delay this even further or does she now have to issue it.Please help as its been 2 years now since we split and i want an end to this now.
    Kind regards

  64. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Chris and Anna,
    A Decree Absolute can be obtained by the Petitioner six weeks and a day after the Decree Nisi was pronounced.
    If the Petitioner does not apply, you can do so by making an application three months later.
    A financial order cannot be implemented without Decree Absolute so there is an incentive to do so.
    I hope this helps both of you,
    Best wishes

    • rob says:

      Hello Marilyn You say that a financial order cannot be implemented without the decree absolute – so I really wanted ask you about my brothers passing – we have found the consent order prepared by a solicitor for court where he is the respondent. His wife/ex wife received a settlement and it includes a clause where neither can pursue for or lay claims to property upon death. It appears that the solicitor drafted the final completion statement which corresponds with the draft consent order. The judge has written back not permitting release of the order- but only to the petitioner or by ‘authority’ what is ‘authority’ in this case? Also – oddly there was no decree absolute so we are at a loss as they have been separated for 16 years and we strongly dispute that she can apply for probate under the rules of intestacy – given that once we get the document it will through a whole different spin on the situation. Looking forward to your help – thanks

      • Andrew says:

        If there was no d.a. and he was intestate the widow – which she is – will take the lot, subject to any claims under the Family Provision Act. Are you sure there was no will?

    • Maria says:

      Hi Marilyn
      I would like to ask a question on my friends behalf. He applied for divorce back in 2015 and now in October 2016 he got decree nisi now he’s waiting to apply for decree absolute on 7th December. I just wanted to know is there any possibility on his ex wife to postpone the decree absolute and on what grounds she can do that. One more thing he wants to get married in the last week of December. Is it advisable to get married before the decree absolute as he’s given the religious divorce 2 years back can he remarry on the basis of his religion would that affect the decree absolute?

  65. Chris says:

    Fantastic news Marilyn many thanks for your time does that also mean the house be sold as soon as possible or can she delay that as well ?

  66. Family Law Student says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    Can I firstly commend you on what a tremendious response you have had to this article. Surely an achievement in itself!!
    Secondly, in terms of family practitioners and the advice you (or another legal professional) would provide to your clients. Apart from pension provisions (as a result of death) and other provision should one of the partners die. Is there any other considerations practitioners should advise their client of i.e the standard procedure is to wait for a final order from the Court after which you would apply for the DA yourself (if you were representing the petitioner)

    Your help would be appreciated

    Many thanks

    Family Law Student

  67. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Dear Family Law Student
    Because you are a family law student my answer is rather more technical:-
    Have you read the case thoroughly? Have you also read ss8-10a Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 to which I referred in my post and all of which refer to this topic.
    Note the inherent jurisdiction in the court to delay DA, but also note that the reason for delay must be exceptional.
    In practice,cases arising under ss8-10a MCA 1973 may be other reasons to delay applying for DA.
    If for example we are instructed in a Jewish divorce, we may need to postpone DA until after a “Get” has been given.
    Hope this helps.

  68. Ann says:

    I received my decree nisi in Dec of 2006 and returned home to Canada at that time. I am the Petitioner but did not apply for the Decree Absolute and in fact, thought the Respondent would apply after 4 months. It is now more than 5 years later and I want this marriage finally dissolved. There are no financial issues nor were there any children involved. I have not had any contact with the Respondent since 2007 and I plan to remain in Cananda. How difficult will it be for me to acquire the Decree Absolute?

  69. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Dear Ann
    First are you certain there has been no decree absolute? Check with the court. Just because you haven’t received it, doesnt mean it hasn’t happened.
    If not then the following is the relevant link:-
    You may also need to file a Statement of Truth verifying the position, again I suggest you check with the relevant court.

  70. Paul says:


    My daughter has just been granted a decree absolute. Neither we nor or solicitors were able to trace her husband. A couple of days after the absolute was granted she received a letter from the CSA offering condolences on the death of her husband and closing the CSA account (not that he actually paid anything). He died before the nisi was granted.
    Her solicitor says she is divorced. A work colleague is married to a solicitor dealing with matromonial issues and he has said that my daughter is widowed as you cannot divorce a dead man.
    I see a note above saying you cannot divorce a dead person in English law. Would you say that my daughter is divorced or widowed?
    Many thanks in advance if you find the time to answer.

  71. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Hi Paul
    I agree. I think she was widowed prior to Decree Absolute and therefore I think the Decree Absilute was issued in error and she should apply to have the decree absolute rescinded.
    This situation may well affect her entitlements as a widow. She needs to check them out.

  72. Paul says:


    Thank you for putting our minds at rest. That makes it 2 -1 to widow, we will get her to contact the DWP to check entitlements.


  73. mj says:

    hi marilyn,
    i received my decree nisi in november 2011 with a view to apply for the absolute on january 5th but my solictor then told me i have to wait for his financial discloser and consent orderto be be returned?? before she can apply for the absolute, my ex still has returned this to her, i have already told her i do not wish to claim anything from him (he complains about giving me £78 pm csa so i cant see me or my 2 boys getting anything else from him) but she insists she needs this discloser/consent order to be sent with the applicatin for DA is this absolutly nessacery , we were separated 2yrs ago , i am now with a new partner and we wish to marry but obviously the DA is holding it up what do you sugest please

  74. jay says:

    hi marilyn,

    i have found all your comments very useful. just a quick question..I am the respondent, i am waiting for my ex to apply for the absolute, we have already received nisi. she has not yet done this and i understand i can apply after 3 months but need to send affidavit with form? in your experience after how long from submitting paperwork in cases such as mine does it take for absolute to be granted? i understand there has to be a hearing? also does it have to be 3 months or 12 weeks from day of nisi? as for me this changes the time i can apply by approx a week. many thanks

  75. Chrissy says:

    Hi Marilyn

    I am the petitioner in my divorce and have received a decree nisi but my husbands solicitor has requested I delay applying for the absolute until the fincances have been resolved.
    I don’t beleive there is any advantage to either of us by doing this and just want the divorce final. Can I still go for the absolute or can he prevent me from doing so?
    We have a house with no equity which I live in with my child (and have paid for since our split), I have one mediocre pension and took on the joint debt whilst he has several generous pensions so am unsure as to why we are even discussing the finances.
    Thanks for any advice

  76. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Scroll up to the answer I gave Ann on 27 Jan and follow the link to Form D187. It should give you all the info you require.
    Best wishes

  77. Marilyn Stowe says:

    I don’t know about your financial circumstances but if your husband were to predecease you before a financial order is in place then you could lose out on widows benefits under the various pensions you mention.
    I think you need to discuss the options with your solicitor and decide then.
    Best wishes

  78. Marilyn Stowe says:

    I’m not clear about what you are saying in your message. Generally it’s wise if a solicitor gives advice which is in your best interests to take it.
    However you are the client. If after taking advice you decide to reject it then you are entitled to do. Your solicitor might want you to sign a disclaimer to confirm you aren’t gong to sue if it turns out to be a bad move.
    Best wishes

  79. AD says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    Thanks for your excellent blog – i’ve got answers to quite a few questions I had. I wonder if you could give me advice on this one: I recently bought a house with my partner, as tenants in common with a deed of trust to specify 45/55% each me/him. We also made wills stating that if either died their half would go to the other. However, he is still married. He has been trying to get divorced for two and half years, but his wife keeps stalling. He has a decree nisi in place but that’s it. There have been many different consent orders written and rejected by both. He has until recently been paying her £650/month for his three children (aged 5, 12 and 13) and £150 a month for herself (the latter that was supposed to be for only three years). But last month he was made redundant with little immediate hope of finding work. She has kept their marital home and he has agreed to give it to her as part of their settlement, whilst he keeps the savings, amounting to about a 60/40 split in her favour, although at the moment none of that has been legally agreed. I am worried about my own position, since if he died i’m concerned that his wife could contest the will about our house since she has always been financially dependant upon him and has three children. I would be grateful for any advice. Obviously I have no solicitor as it is not ‘my’ divorce, but his.
    With thanks,

  80. ZD says:

    Hi Marilyn, I am at the stage of Decree Nisi but wife will not complete papers for a financial settlement – however, since she has only debts and a small pension I am happy to walk away with nothing from her. I have also asked for a Clean Break agreement but she will not reply to any letters. Other than by paying large some of money to try and get her to Court which I understand she cannot be compelled to attend – is there any way to get the financial matters finalised? – or do I have to live for ever and a day wondering if she is going to come back asking for money? There are no children from the marriage. Many thanks

  81. Marilyn Stowe says:

    You are right to be concerned. Your partner’s wife could certainly look to his share of the property to deal with her needs and those of the children. The court will have to do the balancing act I have written about elsewhere on this blog. Perhaps you should look again at the deed of trust and seek trust law advice on it.
    I think you also urgently need to ensure he ‘gets on with it’. He needs a settlement in place and he also needs life insurance which will cover his ongoing commitments to wife and children and mean that the house he intends to pass to you will do so. Remember if you arent married when he is able to marry, there may be Inheritance Tax issues between you in the event of his death.
    Its a morbid subject and unlikely to occur but you are right to worry particularly as you are investing in the property.

  82. Marilyn Stowe says:

    You could apply to the court by issuing a Form A to get the process started and seeking a dismissal of each party’s claims against the other. Your wife does not need to attend court for an order to be made against her and therefore that seems to be the way forward. She could also potentially be liable for costs if the court considers her behaviour to have been cost incurring and unreasonable. However, a note of caution. Whilst I note you want nothing from her, are you sure she will want nothing from you?
    Take legal advice on the entire situation first before acting but I agree it is a situation which does need sorting out.

  83. AB says:

    My ex wife and I have been separated since 2007 and she applied for divorce last year. My exwife received decree nisi in december 2011 with a view to apply for the absolute on january 2012 but her solictor then told her to wait for till we agree on the financial arrangement. I have cleary stated in the Statement of Arrangement for Children that she and our children will continue to live in our former matrimonial home while I continue to pay half the mortgage. Once the economy is better, we may sell the house and she will be entitle to half of the value of the property. At the meantime I will continue to provide her the monthly allowance/maintenance for her and our two children. I’m currently paying GBP1253 a month (for mortgage & allowance for 2 children). She is reluctant to apply for decree absolute thinking that she can get more money out of me. I’m a contractor working for a private security company which from time to time I do not have income; however I am making a firm commitment that I will continue the current arrangement. My weekly incomes fluctuate from time to time it may range from GBP 0 to 2000.
    Will the court turn down my application for decree absolute if I apply for it after the 4.5 months wait ? Will my ex-wife able to stop me from the application of decree absolute ?

    with thanks,

  84. Marilyn Stowe says:

    It isn’t about the overall financial settlement. It’s about what she might lose that would not be recoverable out of the financial pot if you were to die before a settlement is in place. She would not be your widow, so any widows benefits that are automatically payable say out of your pension entitlements would be lost.
    If such a potential loss is relatively low and could be covered then your application should succeed.
    Please read what the judge said in the decision above.

  85. Maya says:

    I am the petitioner and have been trying to reach a settlement agreement for over 6 months now. My STBX has held up progress by providing a grossly deficient Form E and refusing to respond to the questionnaires issued by my solicitor. STBX claims to have filed a Form A and I was wondering if there is any advantage to being first to file. Thanks.

  86. Marilyn Stowe says:

    This type of quesion is hugely frustrating! I would certainly have taken instuctions on the facts and am pretty sure I would have advised you to issue your Form A from the outset. You are an example of delay, a naive attempt to resolve ‘amicably’ and no doubt wasted costs.
    Stop waiting. Issue.

  87. CHRIS says:

    I wish I found you two years ago, you have help me more then my solicitor has, Thank-you for the info

  88. Hurt soul says:

    i had a very short marriage , not even 2 years. he was abusive and it was a arranged marriage. I filed a divorce under unreasonable behaviour. I already got decree nisi and my dates are completed to apply decree absolute, however cannot apply for it as my ex hasn’t signed of no financial claim forms. The judge has already ordered him to pay for teh cost involved for divorce even before i mentioned. Now he is delaying it purposely and not returningt he signed forms. I want to know whether I can still apply for my decree absolute? is it possible for him to ignore judge order to pay? what is my next step? im so horrified with all this and mentally tortured… please helppppp

  89. Marilyn Stowe says:

    ‘Hurt Soul’
    This blog post is all about the major difference which exists in English law, between getting divorced and getting a financial settlement. There is nothing to stop you getting your Decree Absolute if you wish. All you do is fill in the form and lodge it at court with the fee.
    If however you are seeking a financial settlement then you need advise about whether you might be better off waiting until it is in place because you might otherwise lose out on automatic spousal benefits in the event he dies beforehand.
    The best thing for you, and I mean this with the very best of intentions, is to stop calling yourself “Hurt Soul” and take some good legal advice which should then defintively sort the problem out for you.

  90. Hurt soul says:

    Thanks for the advice. I have a lawyer but for some rason i feel that I am not getting it. my lawyer says to wait but i do not have time as for 2 years now its been dragged, the whole divorce proceedings.. no enrgey anymore. thanks

  91. Hurt soul says:

    obtw i live in UK and divorce in UK

  92. AD says:

    Dear Marilyn,
    Thanks so very much for your advice. Thanks to your advice about getting my partner to ‘get on with it’ he now has a decree absolute in place. I do notice on his consent order, which is currently being rewritten again, that he has to pay his wife £1 a month until his youngest son is 18 (in 2025) and that there’s a clause that says after that date she won’t be able to make any claim on his estate after he dies. Does that mean that before that date she could? We took your advice on making sure life insurance was in place to protect me in case his wife did contest his will. Once again, many, many thanks for your excellent advice. It made a quick and effective difference to his divorce.

  93. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Thanks very much. If it’s agreed that Inheritance claims are only extinguished when the youngest child is 18 then perhaps you should add a clause that the claim is limited only to the sums he is paying under the order at the date of death. Thus if he is only paying nominal maintenance, your partner is not faced with a claim for anything more from his ex wife.
    Obviously I don’t know the details but it’s something he might like to discuss with his solicitor.

  94. Claire T says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    Can you advise me. I have my Decree Nisi granted in 2011 but did not finalise as we tried for a while to get back together. It did not work out and I find myself at the same place I was before after initial seperation. My question is we have no finacial arrangements in place and although all verbal with my ex, he pays half the currect mortgage and £70 per week towards our two children. Can I finalise the divorce within finacial agreement? Do I need to visit a solictor to do this? The first part of divorce cost me £1800 so far. I have been made redundant and have no money but realise the longer i leave it I may be entitled to less finacially award as our eldest child has just turned 18 and our youngest 8 years old. I really dont know what to do for the best interests for myself and my children. I am scared to upset my ex as he could turn nasty and demand we sell the house. We do not want to upset things. Please can you help me?

  95. SG says:

    I am the petitioner in my divorce and I have a decree nisi, it was granted on 27 January 2012. I have not yet applied for decree absolute. Am I still legally married until I apply for it? Or am I now divorced because the 6 weeks and 1 day have passed? Thanks

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      You are not yet divorced. You have a decree NISI, which means “unless”. The six week period gives you the chance to change your mind. As you clearly have not changed your mind then you should apply to the Court for your decree to be made absolute. There is a fee to pay of £45. You will receive a Certificate with the court stamp on it, and should keep it safe because you may need to produce it to prove the dissolution of your marriae in the future, say if you wish to remarry.
      Keep a note of the Court matter number on the certificate, because sometimes people mislay the certificate and then years later need to obtain another sealed copy from the court. That will help trace the file.
      Best wishes

  96. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Claire T
    I think you could be eligible for legal aid so I would advise a trip to the solicitor to find out your situation both in terms of a financial settlement and legal aid.
    As I have written many times, there is no connection between getting divorced and obtaining a financial settlement. Its just that sometimes its better to wait if there are benefits you would automatically lose if you were divorced and your spouse were to die before a settlement is in place.
    Your solicitor will advise you, but dont delay take advise.
    Best wishes

  97. Lee says:

    Hi Marilyn, I have just petitioned for a decree nisi. This is not being contested by my ex (we get on well) and we have agreed our finances and arrangements for children between us and will hopefully achieve decree absolute without difficulty. I want us both to be able to start our lives again following that, and importantly want to rebuild our finances without any fear of claim later in life…do we need something formal put in place and if so in what form will that be? (we have a dually signed financial settlemt agreement which we did indepently ourselves).

  98. Marilyn Stowe says:

    You need a Court order, made by consent which records your agreement and closes off both parties claims against the other permanently.This could best be drafted by a solicitor who is used to the terminology and is aware of the potential loopholes.
    To make sure it’s all done correctly, you will each need a lawyer to advise you both independently and make sure you understand and agree the deal, draft the proposed order between them, then it is signed by both parties,and together with the form giving the necessary financial disclosure by both of you and the court fee, it is lodged with the court for the order to be made. If the Judge has any queries he will raise them. Usually there aren’t any because the lawyers have anticipated and dealt with the possible queries. The order is made, and sealed copies are sent to both parties. When the order is made, all claims are dismissed.

  99. Zoe says:

    Hi Marilyn
    There was no house to sell we rented, the kids are of age so not dependent. After expenses, mainly his, whatever was left in his pot (he was main earner I’ve just returned p/t after looking after the kids and home) was split 50/50 from his account (no idea if he has cash stashed elsewhere). We went our separate ways after the nisi and he paid me my half (I was reluctant to leave without it in case it got spent by him). This was all agreed verbally between us, divorce done using online forms.

    Now he is demanding we go to court together on the absolute day or if I don’t he thinks I’m going back on our agreement to get more. I’m not just don’t see the hurry to do it on the exact day. He says he will take legal advice and not to spend the money he has given me as he will get it back, and I will be worse off.

    Why is he rushing to get the absolute? Can he get the money back? no full and final form has been done yet, when we do it do we put what we had when we split the money, or do we put what we have now which would mean he has less than me. What would the implications of that be to me, could I be made to give him money.


  100. Marilyn Stowe says:

    There isnt a “formal” Decree Absolute day. All that happens is that the signed application and cheque are handed into the court office. So I suspect he is as little clued up as you and probably thinks, wrongly, that financial claims are dismissed when a Decree Absolute is issued.
    Given that may be the case, you have to wonder why the hurry….take a trip to your local family lawyers and ask for some more information on your financial situation and entitlements.
    And no, I dont think he can claim the money back from you. Perhaps Im a cynic, it seems suspicious…..
    Best wishes

  101. Nigel says:

    If the Respondent applies to appeal the Financial Order and also requests a Decree Absolute, because he claims to be getting married, is the Judge likely to delay the Decree Absolute until the Appeal has been accepted or rejected, or allow it? Is the Applicant’s position at risk given that the Appeal could be accepted after the Decree Absolute?

  102. Marilyn Stowe says:

    The answer to your question depends entirely on the facts, and you give none, so I can’t answer you.
    The lawyers who are involved in this case are much better placed than I am to give an opinion.
    Very sorry!

  103. John says:

    Hi Marilyn (great site)

    I received a copy of my (Petitioner/Applicant) Decree Nisi and D36 on or about 07 July 2011. On 04/ Aug 2011 I signed the D36 and wrote a cheque for the said amount to the court £45.00 p. On the 08 Aug 2011 I went to the Law Courts and handed in my documents the court staff took them, and have mist placed them, un known to me or the responded, my ex wife, time past and on the 14th February 2012 I received in the post a application for a hearing for the 20th March 2012 from her solicitors saying I had not returned the D36 and that they said “ the petitioner (me) has so far not applied for the Decree Nisi to be made absolute, and the court respectfully asked to grant leave for the Decree Nisi granted against Respondent to be made absolute”. I retuned to court with the current application and asked questions at the clerk’s desk and informed them of events, I was instructed by them to come to court today (20th March 2012) and provide my evidence to the facts. The bank has confirm to me that the said Chq has not been presented, To day at the court I was ordered to make costing of £90 and she has got the absolute, the judge would not take in to account that in fact the court had miss placed the CHQ and D36, 10. With all respect to the court, as I have fulfilled my entire legal requirements under English law in the said time, and that the court system has failed in its/their duties. I can not be held responsible surly.? I requested to the court today with respect, that my application was just and served rightly and that my application continues today and that my application is made absolute in my favor. But it did not it went in her favor, Q: does that mean that my wife has now divorced me?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      You are divorced. If you were the person who petitioned it’s your divorce petition that has been made absolute. I’m sorry to read what happened at court. You could take it further by complaining to the court but I doubt you would get anywhere as you have no demonstrable proof.
      Thanks for your comments.

  104. Nigel says:

    Hi Marilyn
    If the tenancy has been split by the Applicant just immediately following the marriage breakdown when the Applicant left the property, and now the Applicant wishes to remove the Respondent from the property (owing to obstructing the sale) does the Respondent have any rights to remain. ie, can the Respondent be evicted by the Family Courts when there is a split tenancy?
    Many thanks

  105. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Yes he can still be ordered to leave. Severance does not affect ownership, or the right of one party to apply for an order for sale or possession, it simply means that each person’s share no longer automatically passes to the other on death.
    The court retains the right to make a transfer of property order in favour of either party on divorce and an order a sale.
    Best wishes

  106. Anne says:

    He was officially divorced last December i.e the decree absolute, both he and his ex-wife have been given the official paperwork confirming the divorce as legal and valid. The problem we are now dealing with is the financial settlement, originally he offered a separation settlement of £10k soon after she left the martial home, she refused demanding more and an obscene amount for child maintenance for the daughter. He told her to go through the proper route of the CSA turned out as he was a full-time student he didn’t have to pay however being the man he is he pays the full amount (he works and does a course) monthly. He proceeded with the financial settlement in Jan has submitted all of his accounts, assets, valuation on the house plus his pension, the problem is she’s only supplied some of her info and there was a transaction of a large sum £4.5 which was transferred from her account to her sisters last year which she refuses to explain plus there are missing accounts/pension amounts. There has been no response to the last solicitor letter requesting her remaining info, instead we had a letter from a mediation company requesting a meeting? She’s currently on legal aid so I’m assuming they’ve just passed this through the normal channels as they don’t deal with financial disputes? Where does this leave my partner? It took 12 months for the divorce to go through as she delayed it by not filling in paperwork correctly, claiming mental illness then retracting that, ignoring letters/requests, finally the judge replied saying the paperwork had been signed and changing her mind so late wasn’t an adequate reason for stopping the divorce procedure, so if it’s going through mediation now where does that leave my partner if she continues to ignore letters and not submit her financial information? He’s been quite willing to still give the £10k straight into her pension to save her loosing her benefits or get taxed but she wants more, this amount she would get anyway once the house has been divided, the assets/pensions split so I don’t she why she’s demanding more? Any advice please?

    Many Thanks!

  107. EN says:

    Hi ex wife filed for divorce last april and we have gonne throught till decree nisi which was granted in she is notvapplying for absolute because she wants a clean break and wants to claim our house and put a 10.000 pounds for me ta pay for renovation she says.if i apply for absolute myself will they grant that and can she delay the proces.thanx

  108. Guy says:


    My wife said she has just spoken to a solicitor to start divorce against me, which is horrible not least because we have two young sons aged 10 and 11.
    I would like someone to tell me if it is possible for me to delay the inevitable by simply doing nothing for as long as possible?
    Some friends told me that when I get letters from her solicitor if I don’t reply or do anything at all, there is nothing that can be done for about 2 years.
    For the sakes of my kids I would like to pursue this, but I need to know if I am actually able to do it. I realise it is delaying the inevitable, but that delay is actually very important.
    If anyone can give me an accurate reply I should be most grateful, and thanks in advance.
    Oh, and to the rest of you out there suffering the pain of a broken relationship as well, my heart stands with you.
    Thank you.

  109. Marilyn Stowe says:

    What you write is very common with people who find themselves facing a divorce they dont want. Your wife has had time to think and decide what she wants to do. She has consulted solicitors. You havent got to that point and clearly want to save the marriage.You are obviously and understandably deeply upset and emotional.
    Have you both tried counselling or family therapy? If not then it will need your wife to agree and it might work but if she is dead set on a divorce then she wont agree and will proceed on.
    If there is no alternative and your wife is certain in her mind that the marriage is over then it will be up to you too to come to terms with her decision. You may need some counselling just for yourself. You may need to see your GP.
    You need to think of your children, and how best to deal with them. Instead of being in denial you will need to put them first, dont play a blame game and both of you need to parent your children and help them through this very difficult period.
    You need to agree how the children are going to be parented in the future, and where you are all going to live and how this is going to be afforded. You should take immediate legal advice.
    What you propose ie putting your head in the sand, will not work. I doubt it will delay a divorce and could end up costing you a lot of money that you would not otherwise have to pay.
    Life can be very tough but life happens to everyone, noone is exempt from bad things and usually bad things happen when theyre not expecting it. There’s no point asking “why me?” instead you will be far better served by taking life on the chin and dealing with it as best you can, not least for your children.
    Best wishes

  110. Guy says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    Very many thanks for answering my post, I am exceedingly grateful for your time.

    We have already tried Relate but she has made her mind up and just keeps saying she wants the house and the kids. The thought of losing them too is just awful.

    I’m currently awaiting to receive a letter from her solicitor, and when I get that I suppose I shall have to engage one myself to help me out.

    As for a GP I have told him what’s going on just so he knows, but am reluctant to seek any help over the stress this is causing because I am fearful a court might see me as somehow unfit if I have had to have a doctor’s help. I actually feel mentally strong but the strain is immense, I don’t mind admitting.

    Well, I won’t bog you down with the intricacies but if you think there is no merit in delaying, then I guess that’s that then. Both kids are adamant they wish to live with me so I only hope any court would take this into consideration, plus the fact my wife is always out and leaves me to care for them much of the time.

    Marilyn, my gracious thanks to you for your valuable time and opinion which I shall take away and digest. I look forward to the days beyond this nightmare when I can hopefully find peace and love from someone else.

    Thanks again, you’re a gem for helping people like this.


  111. Marilyn Stowe says:

    My pleasure. Take some very good legal advice, focus on what you want, within the context of the facts and law and don’t be despondent. Use the facts and the law to your advantage. Sometimes husbands forget they have their own needs to consider and a vital role to play in their children’s lives. You count too.
    The first issue must be a parenting agreement about residence and contact given what you write. You might do this by negotiation, or by family therapy or mediation before applying to the court. You might agree a joint residence order and how time is to be shared between you.
    Both of you will have to ensure that your respective proposals are in the best interests of the children which means also encouraging a relationship with the other parent so that the childrens bond with the other parent is not broken.
    Be practical and flexible and see how that goes
    Then I would suggest you deal with the finances.
    Your own solicitor with all the facts will advise you. This can only be a general guide.
    However I’m going to wrote a post following on from your comments and it will be up shortly.
    Best wishes

  112. Divorce and the breadwinner: some straight talking - Marilyn Stowe Blog says:

    […] commenter called Guy recently described his desolation after his wife announced her decision to divorce. He asked how he could delay […]

  113. JamesB says:

    Whatever happens do not move out of the house, and try to stay away from her to stop her fabricating an injunction to get you out and have the house and kids / have a witness around, as that is what her amoral solicitor will advise.
    Yes, children’s wishes are paramount, a glimmer of light for you.
    Oh last thing, councelling worked and saved me a fortune – speaking with councillor rather than solicitor is far cheaper, do not allow ex to realise you go as will use it against you. Now it becomes very messy, despite what Marilyn says.
    Best wishes.

  114. JamesB says:

    Councelling also kept me sane in the difficult time back then for me.

  115. Marilyn Stowe says:

    James B
    For once we aren’t too far apart. Note I refer to counselling and strategising but I also suggest staying calm rational and commercial. A good lawyer will help not hinder.
    In fact I was so interested and concerned by Guy my latest post focusses on him.

  116. Rachel says:


    I was moved by your words.

    I found myself forced to take action after my husband committed adultery. I tried everything to save my marriage as I did not want my daughter to come from a broken home. Eventually I had to accept the marriage was over and take the bull by the horns and take legal advice. My husband wanted a divorce but did not want the financial repercussions and he tried very hard to stretch things out and not cooperate. This just added to the stress and acrimony and the legal costs. Please don’t stick your head in the sand, it would be counter productive for both of you. The divorce process is extremely painful, particularly for the party who doesn’t want it, but you will find the strength to see it through to the, hopefully, not too bitter end.

  117. JamesB says:

    I meant to post this here.

    JamesB on April 4, 2012 at 9:06 pm
    keeps u sane and from alienating others and yourself not involved with your talk on the subject also.

    JamesB on April 4, 2012 at 9:07 pm
    last point, in divorce in this country, the money follows the children, thus the reason why you should petition your wife now rather than wait for her to do it and get more in 8 to 10 years time.

    I also add that a trip to an average, cheap, lawyer might be a good idea.

  118. JamesB says:

    I also add that a trip to an average, cheap, lawyer might be a good idea, to set the ball rolling.

    Threatening someone with divorce is unreasonable behaviour, indeed anything is these days and if someone says they want a divorce then usually there is no way back (although Zoe Ball and Norman Cook do confuse me and break that rule).

  119. JamesB says:

    You need to divorce her asap.

  120. armie says:

    Hi! I am physically separated from my husband for 1 year and 3 months…I wish to file the divorce but my ex husband is homeless and jobless at the moment…i was told that I need his address for him to receive the papers..we got married overseas..we’re both British citizen…our children age 19 and 14 lives with me and I am not receiving any child support for my 14 year old child. I managed to remove his name from our mortgage but we still both owe a portion of land from the country where we came from…I want to divorce him urgently as his behaviour were unreasonable. I don’t have enough money to spend for my divorce as I am the sole provider for my children. Will I be able to file the divorce even though he doesn’t have a permanent address?
    kind regards

  121. Guy says:

    To James and Rachel,

    Just wanted to say thank you for taking the trouble to post your comments, which is very good of you.
    It’s the Bank Holiday weekend right now so I am unable to get to a solicitor myself until next week, but I was interested to hear from someone I know that a good friend of theirs refused to respond and managed years of delay by doing nothing.
    I wish I could get a simple answer to this .. can I legally delay by doing nothing without prejudice to myself and my desire to keep my kids. Maybe I’m looking at it too simply, maybe it’s not as black and white as that, but if it is I would love to know.
    These friends said the time which starts when the respondant makes their first defence to the day a divorce is granted only starts when the respondant makes that initial move. In simple terms, if I don’t respond, the time doesn’t start. I am trying to find an accurate answer to this. My friends are adamant this is what happened, and whilst I have no reason to dispute them, I think it would sit better if I knew I had some legal right to actually do this.
    Obviously I don’t want to do anything that will completely ruin it all for me.
    Nonetheless, for your consideration in repying I am most touched and grateful, it is some comfort to be able to be in contact with others who have experienced this unpleasant moment of life. Thanks also again to Marilyn, without whom so many of us would have less help/hope.

    Have a lovely weekend everyone.


  122. Stephen says:

    Ive been separated. Since October 2008 I have done and completed ancillary relief and we have our own mortgages n homes. I applied for divorce back nov,2011 got to decree nisi this week 5th april 2012 only for my to petion it on the grounds of her emotionally well being….the court have honoured her plea she is a senior prizon officer and is still working as I have our son when she is at work… how can she stop this when clearly she isn’t emotionally unstable and all ive ever wanted is tobe divorced from her weve been separated lonbger than we were married. She has made my life hell because I have a partner now who she knows I want to marry. I have cancer and if anyone should emotionally issues that should be me and my partner. How can we get the court to see she is lying yet again and get this moving to absolute stage.

  123. JamesB says:

    If you don’t reply she will have to ‘serve’ you. which doesn’t take much effort and will annoy everyone concerned. To do this she gets someone to knock on your door and hand you the papers or a recorded signature, thne if no reply you lose the case anyway, complete waste of time. But you r not listening. Why be married to her if she doesn’t love you? THAT makes no sense.

  124. PBMC says:

    Hi Marilyn
    i am due to apply for absolute in 2 weeks. From the beginning of the divorce process my ex husband has been ameniable and agreed verbally that we would walk away with whatever assets we have (mainly pension assets as far as i know). There is no property or children to consider. i applied for a clean break order and now he is delaying giving me the financial information for the order to be completed and presented at court.
    Can i present the clean break order without his information and signature, with a covering letter explaining why the information is missing?
    Many thanks

  125. Maria says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I am in the stage of decree nisi, we have two children, and Iam living in the family home with with the two of them, my ex have left me, and I have one meeting with mediation so far, my lawyer has told me that we are separated now and entitled to see some one else, is that possible at this stage of the divorce? Thank you very much.

  126. Marilyn Stowe says:

    You can always see someone else, you are free to live your life.
    But having a relationship with someone else can be a basis for divorce but as you have one, that should be ok. It can also potentially affect a financial settlement if you intend to live with someone. It might also affect a child dispute.
    All this should be discussed with your own solicitor.
    Best wishes

  127. Lisa says:

    I’m presently sorting my divorce online and am the Petitioner. My ex husband and I have split all our assets 50/50 due to a short marriage, but we have a 5 year old daughter. We have received our Decree Nisi and are just filling-in the financials. My ex is dragging his heels and has told me to put ‘Zero’ in all the appropriate areas ie pension, savings, mortgage questions. This cannot be accepted as it is not the truth, how can I push him to complete the forms, as we have now been separated for over 3 years. Thanks Lisa

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Have you seen a solicitor at all? Have you fully discussed your entitlement in law to an appropriate financial settlement which takes into account your reasonable needs and those of your daughter? If you havent then please do so.
      As for perjuring yourself dont even dream. Under no circumstances should you ever lie to the court.
      I suggest you get yourself some good personal legal advice and act on it, not least because you have a child and a clean break may not be appropriate. You may be entitled to an entirely different financial settlement to what is proposed.The length of the marriage and the passage of time may make no difference in terms of meeting your reasonable needs and those of your daughter whose existence could alter the case entirely.

  128. Marilyn Stowe says:

    I’ve changed your name and the facts.
    Here is a link to tell you what you need to do to obtain Decree Abolute.
    A financial settlement is not necessary.
    However if you want a dismissal of all your respective financial claims then you could apply to the court. It’s up to you.
    Best wishes

  129. Tony says:

    Hi Marylin! Love your blog very informative!
    There was a Decree Nisi issued back in 2007 in the UK. This is for a marriage that occurred back in 2004 and official separation occurred 8th December 2005 (though we had lived together for about 10 years before).
    From what I understand the Petitioner did not proceed with decree absolute due to my non agreement to her requests in regard to settlement. I did not pursue the issue as I thought she would proceed with the Decree absolute at some point at the time.
    Since the decree nisi we have not met, lived or communicated nor have any children together. She was employed before, during and after our marrige.
    I have been living with my actual partner since 2008 and have a 3 year daughter together and would like to sort this out once and for all. I do not have any shares or assets (currently just debts) in my name anymore.
    Not sure if issuance of a Decree Absolute would be conditional on resolving the financial issues that were present 3 years ago but no longer are. How easy would it be for me at this stage to apply for a Decree Absolute? Would there be any reason why a DA would be turned down by the courts? Thanks in advance.

  130. RKKL says:

    Hi Marilyn
    I don’t have no children no property on my name or his name…
    My decree nisi date was on jan’12 wait for 6 six and one day pass after fews week on Mar’12 I apply decree absolute with fees £45…
    I called to court to find out where my case process…
    They keep telling me it’s has been granted end of Mar’12 but still left to check and sign…
    Now end of April I am still waiting. how long does it take?
    During this issue can I get married? I need to get my divorce certificate number where should I find it??

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear RKKL
      The Decree Absolute is a certificate which is issued by the court and ends your marriage. It is an administrative process that is very simple. If you have paid the fee and completed the correct application it should happen soon afterwards. You will need to produce it to remarry.
      Why not go to your local court office with your divorce papers and ask them to check while you wait?
      Or write them a letter quoting your case number?
      Best wishes

  131. Donna c says:

    Hi Marilyn, hoping you can help , my Decree Absolute was finalised 20th April but my solictor wrote to me to advise that i should make an application to revoke the Decree Absolute due to the financial matters not been resolved.
    But i have spoken to the court and they advised that once Decree Absolute has been granted it cant be revoke …im concerned to who to believe as the last thing i want is unnesserary letters going out to my ex husband getting his back up
    many thanks Donna

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Donna
      Just because you have a financial claim outstanding does not mean you cant get your decree absolute.
      However, presumably your solicitor obtained your decree absolute for you and from what you write, now thinks this was a mistake. What have you actually lost? You need to speak to them and ask them to confirm what has happened in writing. Your solicitors should also advise you whether they can continue to act or refer you elsewhere as you may have a claim against them,

  132. Lisa says:

    Hello again

    We have indeed been down the route with solicitors and mediators. My solicitor felt that with the nature of who my ex was that I should take our 2 bedroomed flat and offer of £1,000 a month spousal/child maintenance and get out. The flat is now in my name, however I still have a large mortgage and he took the equivalent in cash from the sale of our marital home. Presently he is not working and is not paying our maintenance. I have no Orders in place for maintenance as it became to expensive to pursue through my solicitor.

    He does however have a Contact Order to see our daughter and at times has her for 1 week or 2 consecutive weeks in the summer which is proving to be too much for her. He won’t listen to me though. I’m more keen to get this varied after 3 years! Due to her unhappiness.

    Im in a limbo land as he is stalling on putting his finances on paper, he’s messing around with the times that he sees our daughter … on the whole its all a massive aggravation.

    Help ….

  133. Annabel says:

    Hi. My husband and I were living in the UAE. He had an affair and asked me to leave. This was only 8 weeks after me having a heart attack and stroke. Before I left he got me to sign a financial order. We now have a decree absolute and his lawyer has sent me a revise financial order to sign, with updated information. Since I first signed it I have found out he has a €60,ooo pension, which he told me was worth nothing compared to mine worth € I questioned this and was told I now could not question it as the decree absolute was granted and they would object in court with the fact that I signed the original one!. Please help me

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Annabel
      I have explained in practically every reply to questions on this post that decree absolute ends a marriage and does not relate to a financial settlement which is separate and can be obtained after decree absolute. In order to reach a financial settlement which will then be turned into a court order, there should have been full frank and honest disclosure by both of you. I do not know if you are taking legal advice or not but if not then given what you write, I suggest you do so and you should not proceed further until then.
      Best wishes

  134. Kim says:

    Can you give me some advice please?

    I have been granted my nisi and am now working on obtaining an amicable financial settlement with my husband. We currently co-own our property, although when we brought it I put £21,000 pounds into the purchase and he put nothing into the property at that time. He is now in prison serving a long sentence for a crime that he commited many years before he met me (some 30 years ago- we have been together for over 20 years and were married for 10 at the point of his sentencing) . I am on legal aid for my legal costs but my solicitor informs me that as mediation has now (obviously) not been possible – that I now have to obtain full funding for the matter to go to court for the finances to be settled, and that the costs would be recoverable and would attract an interest rate of 8% on top. Hence why I am keen to settle the matter ourselves. My husband insists that he is still entitled to a 50/50 settlement from the sale, despite that fact that I have also paid the mortgage for the last 2.5 years.

    My husband has informed me that he has been advised that as the petitioner in the case that I would be responsible for all the legal costs including his, and that I would have to pay all the costs to sell our property, and that I cannot include any of the costs of the sale in his settlement figure. Is that true?

    I do not feel that my solicitor is very approachable so I would be so grateful for your opinion .


  135. jackie says:

    hi my boyfriend’s ex wife applied for a divorce and in march 2008 the nisi was granted- since then the finances were delayed and delayed but eventually sorted including army pensions etc giving her 40% and my boyfriend 60%, on january 2010 since then even thou we have paid for the absolute- nothing has happened- no letters have been replied to and no contact from the courts at all- we cannot afford a solicitor or any other legal represntation and we do not qualify for legal aid. his ex-wife disappeared with his son in 2008 and to our knowledge has moved 3 times but we only found this out through friends – he pays CSA and there is no legal reason for him not to see his son but as we have no dea where she is this is not his fault- at no time has he been given any reason why his absolute is not going though- can you give us any advice at all please – also is there a time frame where the nisi becomes invalid and he has to start all over again??? this is causing him to be stressed and depressed – to the extent he cannot think straight~! thank you

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Jackie
      I dont quite understand what you write. Your boyfriend should go hot foot down to the court with his divorce papers and ask for help in applying for Decree Absolute. He can apply.
      Is he absolutely sure though it hasn’t been granted? I’m wondering because it looks as though the financial settlement has been implemented including the pension share. I would have expected DA to have been obtained at the same time. And to whom did he pay for DA? If it’s his solicitor at the time, why isn’t he finding out what the position is?

  136. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Dear Kim
    Your husband is not a lawyer. Don’t use him as your legal adviser. Of course you don’t pay all the costs just because you are the petitioner. The usual order is each side pays their own costs but where one party is unreasonable the court could order that he or she contributes towards the others costs.
    The law in this area isnt easy but by now you should have been advised about a likely outcome. Your financial contributions are relevant as are your needs and those of your husband. Without full knowledge of the facts I can’t help you but your own solicitor should. Your case doesn’t appear to be too difficult factually to give you good advise and if you aren’t happy then go elsewhere.
    Don’t let worry about costs prevent you from taking good legal advice.

  137. Sue says:

    My poor uncle has just died before his absolute was granted and I believe the lawyer was grossly negligent. My aunt is a very manipulative woman and actually left my uncle and agreed to the nisi no problem. Sadly, he then got cancer but had a lovely lady to care for him who he wanted to marry. The ex now refused to agree “financial settlement” convincing his lawyer that there was non disclosure. This was rubbish as both of them had retired 10 years ago and all income was clearly evident on his bank statements. The ex was demanding 100% of his CETV and 100% of the marital home. We tried to request the lawyer let the judge decide if 50% was fair and reasonable but she just kept on about the ex coming back AFTER his death for lost benefits- there were no death benefits as he had retired- just 50% spouses benefit which she has now got anyway. All he had was £2,000 in the bank and she’s put a stop on that by declaring herself his “legal wife” even tho’ he had a will in place. The family now cannot pay the funeral bills and the lawyer is demanding an additional £2,100 unpaid fees in addition to the £1,400 he already paid!!! It’s not going to help him now but do we have any redress against the lawyer who clearly failed in what she was appointed to do!

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Sue
      Professional negligence is not my field and I do not know whether there is a claim here or not or who would make it.
      Given the lack of facts what follows therefore is purely general advice. You must take your own legal advice and rely only on that.
      A pension share can be normally be obtained before death so the divorcing spouse doesn’t lose out on her widow’s benefit and there would be no impediment thereafter to decree absolute. Where there are sufficient other assets to compensate for that loss, a decree absolute could be obtained straight away.
      I have been involved in cases where a spouse is terminally ill and in one such case on an emergency application the court expedited the entire matter and arranged to have a case heard on very short notice with one party in hospital. An application for decree absolute was made alongside an application to expedite the financial side and it resolved at the hearing.
      There is still a potential for an Inheritance Act claim by your Uncle’s partner and/or other family and dependents and your own legal advice should be taken.
      Best wishes

  138. Mandy says:

    Dear marilyn
    Please could you help me with some advice.
    I have signed over my half of the house to my STBXH.
    It was a short marriage, 2yrs,. I did not put any capital into the purchase.
    The house was bought with the proceeds from the sale of his house. We worked on the renovation together and both spent our income doing it up which raised the value considerably to purchase the new home which I have signed over to him.
    We also started a business together in 2008 and i am company secretary with 10%share. I was not paid a salary because we had to use our joint income to subsidise the business for over 2years. He has paid himself directors loans and salary into his bank account which I did not have access to… He said he did not want a joint account.
    We parted because of his domestic abuse towards me and I was so scared of him and made even more ill because of the situation that I had no choice but to leave.
    I am now living on benefits and disability Living Allowance.
    He says that I am going to get nothing.
    My question is will a judge take into account my contribution to the marriage regarding improving quality of lifestyle as I did work very hard in the marriage with regards to the business and the home.
    I signed over the house because I acknowledged it was rightfully his but there is 100% equity in it and the business is making money. Up until recently I was involved in the business but he stopped communicating with me now.
    Thank you for your time

  139. RG says:

    Marilyn, thank you for all of your efforts in providing advice to everyone.

    I am coming to the end of a horrendously acrimonious divorce. I have 2 young sons, aged 4 and 6. My husband has been very underhand and extremely manipulative throughout the divorce – even though I was going to be the petitioner and had provided him with a draft petition for him to amend and approve with his solicitor and had tried to keep things civil between us, he then went behind my back and filed a petition at the court without my knowledge, so he is the petitioner and driving the whole divorce process.

    Our family home was sold last summer and we moved to 2 separate houses. I refused to sign contracts on our previous home unless a draft consent order was in place but he only produced this at the 11th hour and the buyers were threatening to pull out of the sale, so I signed it, unfortunately without getting my solicitor to check it through. Afterwards, I realised that it was incomplete – I received more of the assets from the sale of our home as I am the primary carer of our children and had to pay a premium for living in a school catchment area, but we had also previously agreed that I would receive a 50% pension credit equal to the differential between our pension values. I hadn’t realised that the draft consent order didn’t include this percentage, nor any detailed provision on what we had agreed for child maintenance, before I signed it.

    I’ve been asking for 9 months for this consent order to be revised – we had agreed that we would have a private arrangement for childcare, rather than going through the CMA and I want the provision for my children and the pension settlement to be documented thoroughly in the consent order but my STBX husband keeps posturing and is now threatening not to award me a 50% pension credit as had been previously agreed.

    The decree nisi was granted back in February and I want to have the consent order finalised and all outstanding items between us settled before the decree absolute is granted but my ex has told me today that he wants to apply for the decree absolute without having the consent order or outstanding issues resolved. I’ve also suffered so much extreme stress as a result of my husband’s actions and behaviour towards me that a long term illness has flared up again and I now want to have nominal maintenance included in the settlement (although this would only be awarded in the event that I lost my job through illness or redundancy until I was able to recover and generate an income again). My ex is adamantly saying he will not include nominal maintenance, unless he pays me a much lower pension credit than what we’ve agreed.

    I’ve read through your other posts and understand that a decree absolute can be granted without the consent order having been agreed or financial settlement in place but I am extremely worried about this as my ex is very manipulative and I feel that he will try to get out of the agreements that have already been made. If the decree absolute has been granted without the financial settlement in place, I feel that my leverage will be radically reduced. I hoped that we could resolve this without going to court, but if the decree absolute is granted and no financial settlement has been agreed, is it likely that this will go to court and my bargaining power will be reduced and what we had previously agreed on pensions/child maintenance and additional costs will be overturned and I will end up with a much reduced settlement?

    Is there any way I can prevent him from getting the absolute granted until the consent order and financial settlement is finalised and signed? Do you think I would be successful and would this be a costly process?

    Many thanks for any advice you can offer.

  140. Jay says:

    Dear Marilyn, thank you for the advice you are providing us all..
    I am going through a divorce, and have reached and passed the date for the Decree nisi which is now coming up to 8 months.. however before we send it off for the DA, I am trying to sort out the financial part of the divorce, we are now going through mediation to get this sorted as she wasnt responding to my solicitors letters, and my solicitor says it would be cheaper than going to courts.. 8 months later we have only been to one session because she keeps canceling.. should i just send off for the DA and worry about this later as all I want is to be is divorced.. ?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Jay
      You need to ask your own solicitor. In principle of course you are entitled to have your divorce decree made absolute but you need to check if you are running a risk applying before finances are resolved. It’s unlikely, but you should still check. You should also check if you gave an undertaking to your wife’s solicitors not to apply for Decree Absolute until finances were resolved. If so, this also needs considering. Similarly if you are the Respondent, your wife might object and if she does, please read the Case above, which is the subject of the original post to cosider how you would deal with her objections.
      After eight months it doesn’t seem that mediation is achieving very much so why not also consider an application to court?

  141. Jay says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    Thank you for getting back to me, I am the petitioner, what can I say about my solicitor except for I really know how to pick them.. I will give him a call in the morning, the problem with going to court is that its already cost me an arm an a leg to get to this point, whereas my ex is on legal aid.. again thank you for your advice.

  142. nicki says:

    my ex filed for divorce and got a nisi since 2010 july and she made claims to my private property she still lives in with our two kids, she lied to judge and can’t prove anthing she claimed, I live on the property as well with my new girl friend and son of 1 yr. she does not and has not paid bills or up keep and has her boyfriend in my house and now would not finish the divorce, the judge already made me pay child support to her cn i apply nowbto have this done cause he is happy to live off me..

  143. Tony says:

    Hi My wife the petitioner applied for a divorce some 30 months ago. The decree nisi was granted on Sept 1st 2010 she refuses to speak about settlement. I would like to receive the decree absolute as I have a new partner with 2 new children thanks

    Yours sincerely

    tony Jones

  144. Observer says:

    i went from a nisi to an absolut in a matter of 2 days, and was later taken aback to learn that this was supposed to be done over 2 years. there does not seem to be much consistency in the courts of england, and it’s little wonder that the public is rapidly losing its faith in the family justice system.

  145. Ash says:

    I’m four years into litigation. We had to wait 12 months to file for divorce. Two years was then spent litigating in a foreign jurisdiction after my husband took advantage of my offer to agree to divorce on separation not behaviour (uk divorce possible 3months before foreign) to then file in Germany. On appeal German Courts declined jurisdiction naming UK as most appropriate forum. I immediately applied for my divorce petition to be unstayed along with ancillary relief proceedings in November and Nisi was then pronounced in Jamuary. FDA was 18/05, FDR is 3/08. There is considerable material non disclosure. Husband applied for absolute on basis new girlfriend is pregnant. Citing they are Jewish so need to marry. He wasn’t circumcised or bahmitzvah’d and had two children with me prior to marriage. Her sister also had child out of wedlock. Recent disclosure after FDA shows I have been irrevocably removed as a beneficiary from the discretionary trust in Jersey that owns all his assets (declared and otherwise). On this basis could we defend absolute – if he died prior to financial agreement my understanding is, having been removed as a beneficiary I couldn’t litigate effectively to secure a financial settlement that Financial Prover dings. Certainly combined with lack of disclosure in Swiss &Jersey banks etc. Currently he is pleading sincere financial hardship despite cash spend of last 12 months of around 500 k with legal and housing costs against a declared net income of 137k? Any advice gratefully received.

  146. Kris says:


    A financial order has been given by the courts to sell the marital home and split the proceeds. The home is in my wives sole name.
    There is a charge on the property. Can I apply for an absolute before the home is sold, will this effect the charge with my home rights act.
    A finacail order has been given by the courts to sell the marital home and evide the money. The home is in my wifes sole name.
    There is a charge on the property. Can I apply for an absolut before the home is sold, will this effect the charge with my home rights act.

  147. Celine says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    Your site is amazing and is very helpful, howver throughout all the different websites I have checked, I have not been able to find the right kind of advice. I am already divorced and my situation was sorted as amicably as possible. I am now with a new partner who has been seperated since Jan 2010. His decdree Nisi was pronounced in Nov 2011. He has two girls from his marriage and his soon ex wife is leaving in the marital home (which was his before they met).
    He is paying his maintenance as he should and has offered her 66% of the house and child maintenance in order to finalise the financial agreement. She has refused the two previous offers he has put forward to her. We are now nearly 8 months after the Decree Nisi, and no where near a final agreement. He asked his solicitor for advice on how to bring the matter to a resolution, at which point he was advised to start court proceedings. He was quoted the little sum of £9,000.00 for the overall court process (£5k for the solicitors firm and £4k for the Court). I need to state that none of us have that kind of money and our income is just enough to sustain the both of us and the kids.

    After looking at different websites, the quote mentioned above seems extortionate. Also he was not advised to attempt mediation. I doubt this will make his soon ex wife come to an agreement as she is refusing any proposals but having the house as well as maintenance.

    I wanted to know if mediation can only aid to come to an agreement or can it make the petitioner reach a final agreement?

    All we can see now is years of having to wait and pay for a solicitor who does not help much.

    Final question: is it possible to change solicitor half way through the proceedings?

    Thank you so much for your help,


    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Celine,
      My advice in general is not to stick with a solicitor in whom you do not have confidence. It will almost inevitably lead to distrust, complaints and frustration on both sides, and neither you nor the solicitors will benefit.
      I cant comment on the costs estimate, as I dont know what it covers. I do not understand what is meant by “4k for the court” because the court fees are £240 to issue, and it may have been misunderstood. I think it needs clarification.
      Mediation will usually only succeed where both parties are anxious to reach a sensible commercial agreement. It may not work where one party distrusts the other as there is no compulsion on either party to fully coooperate so it may end up with even more wasted time and costs.
      I think overall your partner should consult a firm of solicitors in whom he does have confidence and ask them for a quote and go from there. They may be able to dip in and out of the case in order to assist him if you cannot afford their full fees.
      Best wishes

  148. Chris says:

    Hi I am the respondent and my wife is the petitioner, she started the divorce back last year 2011 and on the 25th of January 2012 I received my decree nisi from then on we were due to have the decree absolute on the 8th of march 2012 but my wife did not go to the court to finalise the divorce so therefore I had to wait 3months before I could go and apply for it myself, I have now done this and also paid the £45 court costs but we have now been summoned to court. My wife claims she does not want it finalised until financial matters have been dealt with, I pay child maintenance and as far as I’m aware any other matters can be dealt with after the divorce is complete. Can you please tell me what are the possible reasons that we have been called to court and what are some possible reasons that the judge may not finalise it? I have been with my new partner for 2 years now and my wife has been playing games with the divorce and has clearly stated to me that she will drag her heals with it to make it impossible for me and my current partner to move on, what are the chances that the judge will not finalise the divorce?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Chris
      I know nothing at all about your respective financial circumstances. All I can say is that as you, the respondent, are making the application for Decree Absolute, there will normally be a hearing so this is not unusual. The judge will want to know why Decree Absolute should not be pronounced. The judge will want to know what your wife fears will be irretrievably lost if ithe decree is made Absolute, that cannot be corrected by say, a financial settlement? Eg Widow’s benefits that cannot be compensated in the event of your death prior to a financial settlement in place. Or the right to an asset held in trust might be affected by Decree Absolute. In some cases a religious divorce may be needed first. It is not necessary however to hold up the Decree Absolute for a financial settlement generally to be obtained.
      I can only give general advice, your own solicitor will be able to take your specific instructions and advise further.
      Best wishes

  149. Loulou says:

    Hi Marylin
    Your advice is so refreshing to read, thank you for having such a common sense way of explaining a difficult procedure! My partner is going through a divorce at the moment and his ex wife is still extremely bitter about our relationship even though we met after they were separated and she was dating other men at the time. Ultimately she is an absolute bully who, after having the first application for nisi rejected, accused my partner of an adulterous relationship with me. She has chopped and changed child care arrangements, is trying her hardest to turn his children against him and is constantly harrassing my partner to ‘do the right thing’ which in her mind is to pay of her mortgage, give her all the houses they own, half his pension as well as child maintenance (they have 3 rental properties). She earns a good salary, has her own pension and ultimately is comfortably off. My partner obviously doesn’t get to see the tax credits even though he has the children overnight twice a week. Mediation failed at the first meeting because of her demands and she is determined that court is the only way to go so that my partner will be ‘punished’ for his lies and actions etc in public. A date for the first meeting has been set for October and I just want to reassure my partner that she just won’t get everything that she is demanding. I need to know however if my salary and assets are going to be taken into consideration during the hearings as form E asked this information. The last thing we want is for her to get more of the assets just becuase I am on the scene. Just a bit of background, I am a divorcee with a 7 year old child and I don’t have a lot of money left at the end of the month. Will my financial situation backfire for my partner?

    thanks for your help, it is appreciated

  150. LegalExpert says:

    Bullies do tend to get their way with everything in the family courts, and when they don’t they usually come up with other ways to bully, harass, and cause distreess.

    When the bully is a dad, he is quickly checked, and punitive measures are applied (and rightly so).

    When the bully is a mom, the above sometimes happens, but the more likely scenario is that she will continue to litigate until you give up (because there is nothing for her to lose when the taxpayer is footing her legal aid bill).

  151. pom pom says:

    HI Marilyn,
    Im a relatively NQ solicitor and Ive just found your website. Its great and such a useful source.

  152. Applying for the Decree Absolute and what comes next - Marilyn Stowe Blog says:

    […] Yet even if there may be a potential loss, if there are sufficient assets to make up for that potential loss, or the nominee of the pension can still be the ex-spouse before a financial order is in place, then there may still be no reason to hold up the decree absolute. The leading case in this area is one in which my firm represented the husband successfully. […]

  153. Joseph Smith says:

    My wife applied for divorce 2 yrs ago. During which time we tried reconcillistion that ultimately failed. Can my wife now continue with her original petition or does she have to submit a new petition?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Sorry Joseph for the late reply. What stage had the divorce reached and how long did the reconciliation last?

  154. Steve says:

    I have now been separated for three and a half years, I went bankrupt Jan 2011, My wife has waited for one and a half years for my bankruptcy to end, she kept all the furniture, we have two children who have left home, my wife has been in possession of the decree nisi for some 7 weeks now and she refuses to sign to it until I agree to some maintenance, she has heard that I want to re-marry, she will not let go and wants to make things as difficult as possible, any advice possible to what I can do to get to absolute without maintenance.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Steve
      I’m not clear about what you mean. If I understand correctly, you can apply for DA if she won’t, but you have to do so by applying to the court three months after the earliest date she could have applied, which is six weeks after decree nisi.
      If you mean she won’t apply for decree nisi, then you could always apply to strike out her petition and issue one of your own.
      Hope this helps.

  155. BonnieGirl says:

    My partner’s wife applied for the decree nisi and had it some 3 yrs ago. Her solicitor dragged her heels over the absolute as she wanted to sort the financial side out at the same time. My partner now wishes to apply for the absolute himself, we have downloaded the forms. Can you tell me what potential problems he may face getting this and how long after submitting the papers to the Court, should it get awarded? Thanks for your help

  156. Pappu Pager says:

    Hello Marilyn,

    I am the petitioner and have been granted the Decree Nisi in April 2012. However the defendant (my to-be-ex-wife) seems to be dragging and delaying the process of the financial settlement – Our respective solicitors have agreed that we need only a consent order to settle it. I am considering going ahead with the application for the Decree Absolute. My question to you; Is there a statutory limitation period after which a financial claim cannot be made against each other? (I am aware that if either one of us gets married again we cant make a claim against the other, but my question is if neither of us gets married ever again, is there a limitation period for making a financial claim against each other?)
    Thank you.

  157. Sue says:

    Hello Marilyn
    My petitioner husband has obtained a decree Nisi in July and is waiting to apply for DA after the prescribed waiting period. We have 2 children (19 & 17), both living with me. We have a jointly owned property where me and my 2 children are living. He has moved out and is refusing to pay mortgage as his intention is to hurt me maximum and have the property repossessed and get me homeless. I am earning £1200 pm (net) and he is earning £1800 (net). I am paying the mortgage in order to keep the roof over our head. My question to you is: Can I delay the DA and Financial Settlement say for a year as he is in a hurry to get re-married and I think by delaying the whole process I can get him to agree to a more favourable financial settlement for me.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      What you need is a financial settlement. Take some good local advice from a solicitor and get on with your application to the court. I think you should proceed sooner rather than later.

  158. Annet says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    Thank you for helping lots of people with such uneasy questions! 🙂
    My question is – what benefits my ex might have if he will get absolute divorce? My divorce is very complicated – I run away from him with two small children (emotional abuse+financial+sexual – which is extremely complicated to prove), but after FF hearing judge said that all my allegations are not proven (I’m trying to appeal) which is total nonsense (some facts was clearly ignored by judge- like documents from doctor where was said that I suffered abuse from him; and I’ve got a suspicion that big connections/money involved to help ex), though now my ex is putting this phrase everywhere adding that I am a lier , including my children.I’ve got DN for now, but just started to solve finances and still solving children’s residence – judge still didn’t give us decision about residence for them – which I find very strange (it’s lasting now since Apr 2011).
    I know my ex very well and if he puts pressure on me and asks for absolute he clearly will get something very important to win something in our divorce. Can judge give him absolute divorce if children are not sorted? if yes and later he remarries can he use the fact that he got “full family” and I’m not to influence court to give him priority over the children about residence or over something else? sorry for silly question, but I couldn’t find anything similar googling. (I started representing myself after I found out that my solicitor acted for him, probably money was involved). thank you

  159. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Last week I was at the Principal Registry talking to a well known QC about Decree Absolute. He told me he had appeared recently before the Court of Appeal in relation to a Decree Absolute in a other case.
    It seems that the Judges commented that people are needlessly reluctant to apply for Decree Absolute. For 999/1000 people it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t affect their financial settlement or help to resolve issues affecting their children. It is the end only of the divorce process.
    However sometimes there are benefits which might be lost by a Decree Absolute, which can’t be replaced by other assets, if a Decree Absolute is in place before a financial settlement. 
    The most common is the loss of automatic benefits that would be paid in the event of a death of the other spouse before there is a financial order. This is a rare possibility, very rarely does anyone die during a divorce but it could happen. So if there are any valuable benefits you might lose by Decree Absolute (including your claim over company or trust assets) then do get a financial settlement beforehand and oppose any application for Decree Absolute by your husband.
    Also it might be the case that you can’t get a Decree Absolute until the Judge is satisfied with the arrangements for the children. You do need to check.
    Don’t waste time however confusing refusing to apply for Decree Absolute with arguments about residence or resolving your financial needs and those of your children. They are very different. 
    So, I think you should take your own legal advise to make sure about your current legal position in relation to Decree Absolute. Then, you need to get on sorting out residence issues and finances and stop worrying about Decree Absolute.
    Legal aid is still available and will be until April next year. Plenty of lawyers offer free first interviews or run free legal clinics, as does my firm to help out people who are having difficulty.
     I really do think you need it and take the papers with you, in chronological order, court papers separate from correspondence, to make it easier to understand.
    Best wishes,

  160. Annet says:

    Thank you, Marilyn.

    Yes, from previous conversations I aware about “The most common is the loss of automatic benefits that would be paid in the event of a death of the other spouse before there is a financial order”, but is here any other hidden stones?

    About “Legal aid is still available and will be until April next year” – what do you mean by that? Will it be serious changes? it won’t be any legal aid at all?may be you can give a link?
    My position is that I use to have solicitors – and then something happen so I couldn’t trust them at all, as instead of fighting for me they were insisting to agree with everything he said and finish this all at once – I was truly shocked. I represent myself – and it is extremely hard – ad luck of knowledge of laws and correct interpretation and ability to use them correctly is crucial part – especially for me – foreigner.
    or may be it is worth to try McKenzie friend?
    I’m worn out, ex continue to pinch me and one of very experienced barristers told me previously “prepare yourself – with this man you’ll divorce 5-6 years”

    Thank you
    (may be I will call your firm.)

  161. Marilyn Stowe says:

    I have no idea about “hidden stones”:- I do not know the facts of your case which is why I suggested you take legal advice.
    There are posts throughout this blog about legal aid. You can check the position and if you qualify by going to this website.
    As for your comments about your former solicitors, it strikes me that perhaps by giving the advice they gave, they could have been right? Solicitors must, whether they want to or not, give advice sometimes they know the client does not want to hear. It isn’t their fault, although in the current climate, I agree that trashing solicitors is routine and even encouraged. 
    Finally, no case should ever last five or six years.
    Best wishes,

  162. Hadenoughnow says:

    Hi there,
    My other half is the respondent in a divorce. The Nisi was granted in February and the time has elapsed for him to be able to apply for the absolute. He has requested the papers from the court and paying the costs isnt an issue.
    There are arrangements in place for the children which were the result of a court hearing some 18 months ago. The fiancial matters relating to the property havent yet been sorted though and this wil enivitably result in going to court as his wife has refused his offer.
    My question is, would tyhe court still grant an absolute? She has been living with another man for the last 18 months and has a child by this new man now. Would these be a good enough reason for the court to grant the absolute so he too can move on with his life? Any advice would be most greatly received. Thank you

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Hadenoughnow
      I can well understand why. As I have made clear on many replies and in the main post there has to be a very good reason to delay the decree absolute and in most cases, there isnt.
      Your partner needs to check with his own laywer and go from there.

  163. Sandy says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I received a letter from the courts stating he had filed the wrong petition in June 2012. I received today a ‘certificate to entitlement to decree’. I have no idea why when I responded to the petition to the courts stating I was in disagreement with several issues on the petition. He is not committing to anything financial on the petition. My question is can I get legal aid residing in USA(I have UK passport and lived there for 20 years). Also, is it legal for the judge to give this certificate when the petition was refused by me? Do you know of a lawyer in the UK who would take my case on pro bono. (I would like to petition him and have him cover court costs). I responded today that I am in disagreement with the certificate as my issues regarding the original petition were never addressed? Thank you in advance and I would really appreciate if you could recommend someone who could help me!

  164. Sean says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    My partner and I got divorced about 12 years ago but got back together in 2000, we are planning to get remarried next year (ahhh how nice I hear you say!) however when getting out paperwork in order, it would appear we never got the decree absolute (my partner doesn’t remember filling in or receiving anything after recieving notification of certificate of entitlement to a decree and then a notification that unless a reason for not making the decree absolute) Should she have doen something else to make it absolute? What I am asking is, could we actually still be technically married and if it wasn’t made absolute because she didn’t fill in any other forms, how can we check?


  165. Anna Ratcliffe says:

    Dear Sean,

    I am a solicitor at Stowe Family Law’s London office and Marilyn has asked that I respond to your question.

    I am so pleased to hear that you and your partner are happy and have resolved any previous difficulties. The easiest way to find out whether a decree absolute was issued is to approach the court that dealt with your divorce proceedings. If you provide them with the case number and the names of you and your partner as they appeared on the divorce papers, they should be able to tell you if a decree absolute was issued. I appreciate that the divorce proceedings happened a relatively long time ago and if you do not know which court processed the divorce you should contact National Divorce Records in London:

    National Divorce Records
    First Avenue House
    42-29 High Holborn
    WC1V 6NP
    Telephone: 0207 947 6000

    If the court is not able to assist, your previous solicitors may have a record of whether a decree absolute was issued. Since it is 12 years since the divorce proceedings, they are likely to have destroyed your paper file but they may retain an electronic record.

    I do hope that this information assists you.

    Kind regards,


  166. Tyler says:

    Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the challenges.

    It was really informative. Your website is very helpful.

    Many thanks for sharing!

  167. mistery says:

    Hi Marilyn

    I will soon be in thr process of requesting a divorce from my wife. We have three children and I am the only breadwinner. Our home is in both our names with me having paid all of the mortgage payments and I want to understand my position. Will I be kicked out of my house and liable to pay mortgage, CSA and spousal support? (considering that she doesn’t work and probably won’t start to) or could the house be sold splitting the proceeds equally. If the house was sold I don’t think my soon to be ex would be able to buy another one. My primary concern is for my childrens well being but I am also concerned that I will not be able to afford to buy/rent/live if I am liable to pay the above. My intention is to apply for joint custody. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  168. mistery says:

    Wow! How hard & confusing is marriage. Had a long chat with the wife where we found out that we have both been unhappy for a while. My emotions are all over the place and I feel I want to make a go of it for me, her and our family. She doesn’t want to be near me at the moment and is going away for a few days to get her head right, she is severely depressed and sees me as the root cause of it. I did a divorce probability calculator this morning and it basically gives us no chance!! Anyway, reason for the message, if I move out into accomodation suitable for me and the children it will mean I have to stop paying key bills at the property I’m in now, including the mortgage. Would my wife be eligible for benefits that would cover mortgage/concil tax etc and give her some kind of income support? I want to contribute as much as I can but I also can’t be left destitute myself. If I did this would the house be left open to re-possession or could the council force me to leave the accomodation.

    Any advice appreciated from a confused/hurting person!

  169. Hadenoughnow says:

    Hi,I was wondering if you could provide any help in filling in a D11 application form please. We are not in a situation where we could visit a solicitor. Would stating that the ex was living with another partner and has a child by this man be enough to put in section 10? Obviously we will struggle to pay the 90 pounds the court has requested without having to pay a solicitor too so we want to make sure we get it right! Also we were sent two forms. Do we need to fill them both in or was it incase we made a mistake that we’d have a spare?!
    Any advice would be gratefully received.

  170. Susan says:

    My partner who is the prtitioner has sent me a divorce notice, i am the respondent he is at the decree nisi stage now he works and has a solicitor but i am using legal aid but i know that he has 2 indian takeaway business and a property and we have 2 children he has never paid child maintenance nor has had any contact with children since last 7 years. and has wrote in the divorce arrangement that he has asked me to see the children but i dont’ allow him all which he has never done neither do i want him to see the children and has been violent to me twice in front of children have witnessed it and i oppose to him seeing the children. my legal adviser said to me that if he has any property etc dont claim for it because then he will push to see the children. as he is seeing a solicitor and maybe successful in contact with children etc. i am scared as to what to do now as i actually want to apply for financial claim and child maintenance.can i at this stage appoint a solicitor and claim for them through court?. and if i do that will he be successful in applying to get contact order for children. I really want to claim for what is my legal right for me and children. but the children dont know anything at this stage as they are very happy and content with their life ,health and wellbeing and have no interest of about him whatsoever they are aged 10 and 8.please give me an answer and please please please help me my rights etc as i want to get on with my life with me and kids. i will be forever grateful and well done for the work you do i see you on this morning keep up the good work and thanx for having this blog as it is very helpful.PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME. i hope u understood my case.thanx once again i will be eagerly waiting for a reply.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Thank you for contacting me. As I understand your e mail you don’t have a solicitor. I have no idea who you have seen but I think you must consult one IMMEDIATELY.
      In law, finances and children issues are completely separate. Yes he may push to have contact with the children:- but he can always do that anyway! You could NEVER trade off finances to stop him.
      Yes you too can certainly apply for for a financial settlement for you and the children and you must NOT allow your fear about him seeing the children affect this. If he is quite well off then so will you be.
      I don’t know where you live but there will be good legal aid solicitors in your area to advise you about your eligibility for legal aid and all your entitlements in a financial settlement. Check the Law Society website for Family Law Panel solicitors near you.
      So, be brave, be strong and go straight away and take some good legal advice near you.
      Very best wishes

  171. Ann-marie says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I wonder if you could give me some advise please. My partner is expecting his decree absolute any day now, although his solicitor advised against applying for it. His ex wife and him have a house in negative equity and 2 mortgages on it aswell as other debts, she is still in the house and has applied to take the mortgage over twice but has been refused by the mortgage companies, she is paying both mortgages but none of the other debts. She refuses to sell it, but we can’t really see any other options? We are looking to get married next year and wondered what the implications of this would be with regards to my partner trying to push for the house to be sold. the deeds are in both names and they are tenants in common and both names are on the mortgages.
    Any help would be grateful as I am going out of my mind!

  172. Julie says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    I have recently applied for a divorce under unreasonable behavior as I had to endure 3 years of domestic violence. There are no children of finances involved. Decree Nisi due to be pronounced 20th of November. Question is: Do I really need to wait 6 weeks and 1 day to get the DA? As I would want to get the marriage dissolved as soon as possible because I do not see us coming back together again even in a million years- So I honestly do not think I need the 6 weeks and 1 day to think about it. Many thanks for all your advice and support.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Yes you do. The court does have power to permit Decree Abaolute earlier, but only in the most exceptional circumstances.

  173. Rebecca says:

    Hi Marilyn
    My boss and his wife were also partners in business but now due to a very bitter split, he has now formed a new company without her. As only the Decree Nisi has been granted at this stage, she is waiting on the financial settlement, the Absolute is still pending. Could the ex-wife have a possible claim on the new company? And would he likely be denied the Absolute if he were to apply for it?
    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      The general position is that all property is up for sharing and both parties have a duty to update each other and the court in relation to changes in their finances up to the date of the hearing.
      Whilst a wife may have the right to make a claim, it doesnt mean she will automatically be successful. If the separation has been lengthy her claims over subsequently acquired assets will diminish. If the company has been formed as an attempt to defeat her claims, she may be successful. It all ultimately depends on the circumstances of the case.
      As for applying for Decree Absolute, please read the case details which I explain on the post. Briefly if a wife will not lose out on any benefits she might gain automatically on his death such as widows pension, or there are sufficient assets to compensate for any such potential loss, then DA should be granted.
      He needs to take legal advice from his own lawyers on his particular position.

  174. Julie says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    Thank you so so much for your prompt response.

    What circumstances are exceptional? I have a Non molestation order against my ex and always feel like my life’s in danger (due to domestic violence) I want to get the divorce through so I can move out of the area. Would the court see this as a good reason to issue DA before the 6 week wait period?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Hi Julie
      I doubt it. You can move before your DA is due. It doesnt prevent you from moving.
      I obtained an expedited DA for a client who was expecting a child and the couple whose family were both religious, were desperate to marry before the birth of the baby.

  175. Julie says:

    Okay thank you so much.

    Well done.


  176. Lee J says:

    Hiya, i had my own property with a mortgage then got married and bought a new more expensive property with my wife who made no contribution financially but was added to the mortgage. All the equity (£30000) from my previous place went into the new property with a joint mortgage. After 14 months of marriage and only 5 months in the new property my wife committed adultery and left me for another man. Can she claim 50% of the equity (£17500) after such a short marriage and living in the property for only 20 weeks?

    Thanks, Lee

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Hi Lee
      So your wife owns half the property. If the entire equity is £35k and there is notning else to take into account then I would think you are entitled to argue that you should have the first £30k and split the net balance of £5k less costs of sale between you.

  177. Diane says:

    My husband and I seperated, voluntarily not legally, 6 months ago. I was divorcing him for his excessive drinking. Howver though the papers had been served and returned by my husband to the court, the nisi had not yet been issued, when he died.
    On marriage 9 years and 5 months ago he joined my mortgage, { I had lived here 12 years, he did live with me for 18 months prior to the marriage} putting no equity into the house. Over time he built up debts and borrowed a considerable amount of money on the mortgage which I foolishly agreed to, always telling me he would repay the
    mortgage by paying the installments on the capital repayment mortgage. He did do this, but 2 and a half years ago he was about to be sacked, he fought his case, whilst his drinking progressively worsened, and borrowed £11,400 from me out of my Fathers inheritance, the rest I had put into the house to get it ready for our retirement years. He won his case with the firm and received £93,000 plus a company car which he sold for £9,000. He did repay me the £11,400, during the time he was fighting his case he was also receiving outpatient help from a psychiatrist. He received his payout july 2011 promising to put £60,000 off the mortgage, which had been turned to an interest only mortgage during this period of time. My mortgage was £74,000 when he joined and it is just short of £160,000 today. He did not pay the promised £60,000 and this total payout money disappeared within 15 months, not one penny was put into the property and I was not even bought a bunch of flowers. As he had lots of money to spend his drinking progressed to a comatose state of living and the stress and strain of it all made me ill and I was off work for 8 months. As i stopped receiving pay I had to use all my savings and remainder of inheritance to keep the house going. I finally realised that I could not help him when I was finding bottles hidden in the house, garage and shed.
    I asked him to leave he remained a further 8 weeks and threatened violence and did physically attack me, the police were informed but no action followed?
    On seperating he told me that he would not be altering his will or changing his final salary pension nomination until the divorce was final. All mine remained the same.
    On his death the family told me I was his wife and his next of kin amd I should deal with his death.
    I have done this and paid for the funeral out of the sale proceeds of his car. I have been dealing with his estate as I have a valid will in my favour. I spoke with the pension department who after sight of will etc confirmed that they have only the one expression of wishes form in my favour, nothing has been changed. The net value of his estate is: car £13,000 {£7,000 of which has gone on a funeral and other expenses) and just under £14,000 in his bank account,he had received a £10,000 tax rebate just before he died, as he was on benefits by this time. The house passes straight to me with its £160,000 debt. The pension is his only other asset. As the net value of the estate is so low I have not applied for probate.
    Today out of the blue his eldest child 34, who only met his Father 5 years ago now claims he has a will that is 7 months old of his Fathers, in which it states he is to receive the car and the pension!
    He has spoken with me on many occassions since his father died even borrowing £500 to be able to afford to come to the funeral but has never mentioned the will before. I am rather concerned as in good faith I have acted upon a will that I felt was valid. His Father has 5 other children who are not mentioned in this 7 month old will.
    My major concern is the pension can a will bequest supercede an expression of wishes form, and if it can, have i a good claim? I can prove the borrowings on the mortgage and that these payments were paid to his single named account and I have receipts for all the house improvements.
    I am beside myself with worry and the stress is already building up.
    Please respond.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Diane
      Thanks for writing. The death benefits payable under a pension scheme are usually (but not always) discretionary which means that the trustees of the pension scheme can choose to whom they decide to pay out.
      You need to get in touch with the trustees of the pension scheme explain the position and ask them to pay you out. 
      I had a similar situation a few years ago where the Trustees did pay out my client who had her Decree Nisi but as she was still his wife, the Trustees took the view that she came first.

  178. Diane says:

    Hi Marilyn
    Many thanks for your reply, I am now being asked to forward a copy of the will, which as I understand, as I have not applied for probate it is not a public document.
    I have also been told that his predates 2009 and it not something he was given, but something he found.
    I have all of my Husbands paperwork as I cleared his home on death and no other member of the family was at the house.
    I do not feel I have to supply a copy of the will, the pension are aware of all circumstances bar this latest claim by the son. The pension co have said I am the only nomination, nothing has changed since the year of our marriage and all paperwork has now been passed to the trustees for appraisal.
    His son states he will challenge the authenticity of the will, it is valid. This could drag on and cost £s.
    How do you recommend I deal with this.

  179. Marilyn Stowe says:

    I repeat the pension is usually a discretionary matter for the Trustees. I dont know about this case because I haven’t seen any documentation at all. You could also refer the son to the Trustees of the pension so he can deal with them rather than you.
    I’m afraid I’m not in a position to advise you as to your own position because the information is not sufficiently detailed. You should see your own solicitor to get your own legal advice about the estate of your late husband and I think this will ease your mind.

  180. Mark Brazier says:

    I am divorced and there is no financial agreement between my ex-wife and I. I have tried on two separate occasions to resolve the matter but my ex won’t engage or respond to any correspondence from solicitors at all. This obviously has cost me a lot of money and I cannot afford to pursue it. I have since re-married so know that to make a claim on the marital home I would have to do a TOLATA. After all this time, the last time being 2007, does she still have any claim on my pension and home that myself and current wife live in?
    Thank you

  181. BG says:


    I am the respondant and my wife will recieve decree nisi on 16 January 2013. We are about to go into financial proceedings – she will fill out a partial form E so I am going to press for a court timetable and issue financial proceedings myself. There aren’t many assets and my pension is the main asset. My questions are: can we proceed to DA without financial settlement? will my wife do so, given that my pension is the major asset, and a PSO will not have been made at that point? can she change child arrangements at any point during the proceedings from DN to DA?

  182. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Dear BG
    If as you say, the pension is the main asset in dispute I imagine it will include a valuable widows pension and therefore this would automatically be lost if you predecease her prior to the financial settlement. If it could not be replaced out of the assets the court is unlikely to order Decree Absolute if you apply beforehand.
    As for child arrangements they can vary any time. It’s up to both of you to agree. If unhappy go to mediation or the court.

  183. Caroline says:

    My husband left me and my baby and I filed for divorce on unreasonable behaviour. We have had the decree nisi.

    I have no solicitor. He has. I asked for us to fill in Form E to guarantee full disclosure to enable is to reach a financial settlement. He is self employed and I do not trust any figures he provides.

    They are refusing to fill it in (as we aren’t in court proceedings).

    Do I only have 3 months after the 6 week application period for abbsolute therefore to agree the settlement with him? Otherwise I’m guessing he could apply, and the divorce go through with a risk we haven’t settled the finances?

    Also, if I earn more money than he does, but I have a child, does he have a case for spousal maintenance? Or should I even be trying to get it from him? In addition of course to his 15% CSA payment



    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Caroline
      I can only give you some general advice. I strongly recommend you take even an hour’s legal advice to find out more about your own situation.
      As the petitioner, you can apply for Decree Absolute six weeks and a day after Decree Nisi.There is no need for a court hearing. He can apply only three months after that date. He will need to apply to the court and you will both have to attend if you dont agree.
      A financial settlement is not related to a divorce, so the divorce could go ahead regardless.
      The financial impact of a divorce is considered by me in the post and please read it. If you arent going to lose automatic benefits as a result of the divorce, eg whether widow’s pension if he dies before a financial settlement or you wont be able to claim under a trust or in relation to a company – and these are only examples, then you could get divorced. If you think you would lose out and the benefits could not be replaced by other assets then if he applies, you can apply to stop the decree absolute until finances are resolved, issue an application to the court using a Form A which you can download from the government website pay the court fee and the time table will start. Both of you will have to complete a Form E.
      Whether this is a good idea or not depends on the advice you receive about your respective financial positions which you dont give me.
      Hope this helps

  184. Julie says:


    Got my Decree Nisi and have waited 6weeks- contacted the court to enquire if my ex has contested the Divorce application (None that they know of) applied for the Decree absolute. Would he be able to stop it now?

    Many thanks,


    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Hi Julie
      I don’t understand your question. If a decree nisi has been pronounced it’s on the basis both parties are aware of the proceedings (or in rare cases the court has permitted the case to proceed without the Respondent being served) and it is undefended or if it is, the court has heard the evidence and made a decree anyhow.
      So post decree nisi then assuming you are the Petitioner you can now apply for Decree Absolute. A word of caution. Are you sure your finances are unaffected?

  185. ian says:

    Why would the petitioner delay returning the alifdifit?

  186. Sacha says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    Thank you for the informative article.

    I am the Respondent in a divorce petition on (fabricated) grounds of unreasonable behaviour, which I agreed not to contest. Prior to applying for Decree Nisi we mutually agreed via our solicitors that neither of us would seek Decree Absolute until financial matters are resolved. Decree Nisi was granted in August 2012. We have not yet discussed finances. S2BX has reneged on our agreement and is about to issue an application for Decree Absolute, due to pressure to remarry. He is non-UK domiciled and a “flight risk”; he can easily move to another jurisdiction. My position would be severely prejudiced if S2BX is granted Decree Absolute before we agree finances, e.g. I would not be able to make a claim under the Inheritance Act 1975, and also the majority of our joint assets are in his sole name and can easily be moved offshore, and also he will soon have a new wife. There is also a very large difference in our incomes, as I am on very low income due to a disability.

    My solicitor is not sure if I can apply for Decree Absolute to be postponed. She thinks that might only be possible if the divorce was on grounds of separation, or that this might be changed by new Family Proceedings rules? Is that correct?

    Thank you for any advice you can give me.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      I don’t have much information from you but understandably you seem quite confused about the law. It is tricky. There is a difference between holding up the Decree Absolute and asset protection. If you are concerned he will make off with the assets, protect them eg by an injunction. You can ask the court to impound his passport in extreme cases too. I don’t know whether this may also impact on DA read my post for more info it needs talking through with your solicitor.

  187. Sarah says:

    Hi, my partner’s ex started divorce proceeding and they have had their decree nisi, but we can’t get her to sign the decree absolute. This can go to court in February, but if she doesn’t turn up will that affect getting the decree absolute?

  188. charmaine says:

    Hello Marilyn
    I have lived apart from my husband since January 2nd 2000. There are no children between us nor do we own/have property/savings. He has twice over the years requested a divorce which I was happy to go ahead with and completed my part of the paperwork forthwith, but on both occasions he did not actually file the papers with the court and consequently we have remained married. I now wish to remarry, and because my husband still receives certain benefits he suggested he file for the divorce as it would be cheaper. However, he has become obstructive by initially refusing to sign papers, not returning them on time/misplacing them, (meaning I had to begin again with a second lot) and has now apparently mislaid a letter sent to him by the court which they’ve got to resend. He won’t confirm if this is the decree nisi although the timing suggests this may be so. I am at a loss as to the best way forward as he has become uncommunicative not returning emails, texts of phone calls. I have a wedding planned for October 2013 and this has been going on since May 2012. My concern is that we may need to begin all over again and with no certanty that he will not delay, time could run out regarding planning etc. I’m not opposed to filing for the divorce myself, although I don’t think it will be any easier. I believe he just won’t sign any papers sent to him. Am I to remain married with this man for the rest of my life because he won’t comply? Or is there a way I could get a divorce without the need for his consent in view of the length of time we have lived apart.
    I’d be grateful for any advice
    Kind regards

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Charmaine
      Stop worrying! You can divorce your husband because you have been separated for more than five years and he can’t defend a petition issued by you and based on that fact. You don’t need his consent. Make sure you serve him with the petition through an enquiry agent to prove he has been served with the papers and then go full steam ahead. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t file his Acknowledgement of Service. Stay on the ball and 9 days after he has been served immediately file with the court your request for a decree nisi. You should also apply for Decree Absolute 6 weeks and a day after decree nisi has been pronounced. You will need your Certificate of Decree Absolute to remarry.
      You can do all this yourself or instruct a solicitor to advise you if you are worried you can’t do it.
      There is a potential problem he may try and argue finances to hold up the divorce, but its unlikely he’d get anywhere and your solicitor will advise you if that happens.

  189. Aisha Pritchard says:

    Needhelp despetaely husband granted divorce nisi and it all lies .sorry cant afford legal fees

  190. Alisha says:

    Hi Marilyn
    My partner has been going the a divorce since last may/June and we still don’t seem to be getting anywhere. His wife is asking for part of his pension but as he is suffering with cancer we have agreed to let her have 10% as we are thinking he will need that to live on as it is likely he may be pensioned off shortly. Further developments have come to light which is threatening his life considerably (without going into details). My question is is there a way we can expedite the divorce in order to get this resolved quickly? We are desperately wanting to get married ourselves but I’m scared we will run out of time?? Can you please advise. To give you financial background my partner took on 30/40k worth of debt when they split. The matrimonial home has been sold two/three years ago.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Alisha
      A divorce can always be urgently expedited where one party is seriously ill. Similarly a court can arrange a faster timetable and hearing for a financial order.
      Your partner needs to get his solicitor to take control of the proceedings but if there are none, then he must get them immediately under way and ask for an expedited time table and make sure the divorce proceeds as fast as possible.

  191. neelam says:

    my father had full assets when my mum died. father remarried and lived with wife for 4.5 years. she was granted decree nisi and financial order but father has died before absolute. no will was ever in place due to his mental capacity. there are siblings from 1st marriage do we have any rights on his estate

  192. Devon says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    It was some kind of a blessing that i stumble upon your blog. I filed for a divorce from my wife in December 2011. I got to the stage of receiving my decree Nisi on 15th May 2012. On the 28 June, My ex wife went to court after she threathens to prevent me moving on with my life and obtained an order for the decree absolute to be stayed pending any financial remedy. She fabricated a statement and have this order granted. I had no knowledge that this application was being made and the first i heard of it was when i get my copy of the order from the court. It has been almost 9 months now since this was done and my ex wife has done absolutely nothing to try and remedy the situation. We have from the onset agreed on core issues like the sale of the house etc and the care and well being of our daughter. She is adamant that she will do all she can to ensure that i suffer and while i can categorically state that i have done all in my power to see things through amicably, she keeps running to her solicitors and having random orders made up to intimidate me. Can you please let me know where i can turn to to get this decree absolute. It would be good to have a initial chat with you to see where i may be able to take this matter. I cannot afford a Solicitor and i am not eligible for Legal Aid.


    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Devon
      You can apply to the court for the stay to be lifted and for your Decree Absolute to be granted.

  193. Mark says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    My wife and I separated in October 2011 and she filed for divorce last February. We have been married for 28 years, no dependent children and our marriage had broken down for a very long time. There were faults on both sides.

    The matrimonial home was sold last year and I agreed to her wish to advance her 80% from the sale of the matirmonial home (no mortgage) to enable her to purchase her own property (mortgage free) ahead of settlement which she has done. I am living with my new partner in her property.

    Now, after over a year of delays and stalling I suspect that she is driven by the desire to prevent the decree absolute from being pronounced (the decree nisi was filed last November). I am eligible to apply for the decree absolute next month. I know that the financials and the divorce are not dependent on each other, but I think that my wife will object to my application for decree absolute on the grounds of pension sharing being involved in the settlement. I am lodging an application to the court for a financial settlement order next Tuesday.

    Your blog has already provided me with a lot of useful information and I thank you for that. In reading the article above, and the subsequent replies to all the comments, I understand that as long as there are other financial assets and funds in my estate to cover any loss in pension benefits that she may incur if I died, then there would be no reason to deny me a decree absolute. I also came across an example Duxbury calculation and it appears that she would have more than enough to satisfy her current income needs (we have already filled out and swapped Form Es so I have all the financial information).

    However every other source I have come across, including my own solicitor, is implying that judges will deny decree absolute if there are pensions involved even if there are sufficient other assets to compensate out of the estate. So I am a bit confused and would welcome your advice about how to approach this.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Mark
      I would respectfully refer your solicitors to the judgement in this case where the position is very clear.

  194. Mark says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    My wife and I separated in October 2011 and she filed for divorce last February. We have been married for 28 years, no dependent children and our marriage had broken down for a very long time. There were faults on both sides.

    The matrimonial home was sold last year and I agreed to her wish to advance her 80% from the sale of the matirmonial home (no mortgage) to enable her to purchase her own property (mortgage free) ahead of settlement which she has done. I am living with my new partner in her property.

    Now, after over a year of delays and stalling I suspect that she is driven by the desire to prevent the decree absolute from being pronounced (the decree nisi was filed last November). I am eligible to apply for the decree absolute next month. I know that the financials and the divorce are not dependent on each other, but I think that my wife will object to my application for decree absolute on the grounds of pension sharing being involved in the settlement. I am lodging an application to the court for a financial settlement order next Tuesday.

    Your blog has already provided me with a lot of useful information and I thank you for that. In reading the article above, and the subsequent replies to all the comments, I understand that as long as there are other financial assets and funds in my estate to cover any loss in pension benefits that she may incur if I died, then there would be no reason to deny me a decree absolute. I also came across an example Duxbury calculation and it appears that she would have more than enough to satisfy her current income needs (we have already filled out and swapped Form Es so I have all the financial information).

    However every other source I have come across, including my own solicitor, is implying that judges will deny decree absolute if there are pensions involved even if there are sufficient other assets to compensate out of the estate. So I am a bit confused and would welcome your advice about how to approach this.
    Thank you.

  195. Mark says:

    Thank you Marilyn for the very prompt reply and all the advice I have gained from your blog.
    Regards, Mark

  196. john wood says:

    Hi Marilyn.
    my wife is the petitioner in our divorce. The decree nisi was granted last November 22nd and six weeks and one day was Jan 4 2013. There was no order made on the nisi regarding finances or property. We have not reached settlement yet even though we have been through many mediation meetings, my wife will not make a decision on what she wants so reaching an agreement is extremely difficult.
    Can I apply for the absolute on April 4 2013 as the 3 month period will be over, and as I understand no order was added to the nisi. Or, can she still block that request and bring yet another halt to proceedings?
    I have met somebody new and arranged the fiance visa wich has been granted for my girlfriend to come here from Morocco, but we only have 6 months to get this long running divorce completed so that my new partner and myself can start our new life and I am worried that my soon to be ex-wife will keep stalling proceedings.
    So, in a nutshell, can I apply for the absolute and can she contest it please?
    thanks Marilyn.
    John Wood

  197. annette says:

    Hi Maralyn, I obtained a decree nisi in july 2012, I am the petitioner, my husband has been having an affair & is co habiting with his new partner.I have been married for 30 years & as he has had several affairs in the past, I agreed to not name her in the decree nisi, as I thought if I tried to keep things amicable, the divorce process would be a lot less painful & quicker. Unfortunately it hasn’t turned out that way & although my husband has had the majority of the items we had split in our consent order, he is now saying that he might want to revoke the order which we were trying to agree on, & ask for the matrimonial home to be sold. The only trouble is, my eldest son runs his business from the premises & my youngest is 17 & still in full time education. My question is, as my husbands new partner is really rich, if he makes us start again with the consent orders, can I ask for his new partners name to be put on the decree nisi, so that I can also take her finances into account, as my husband has already used most of the cash from the assetts that he has already taken?, hope you can help, sorry its a bit confusing.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Annette
      Please take legal advice before you end up in a situation that sounds like it could be a terrible mess. Sorry I can’t give you any more constructive advice because as you say it is confusing.

  198. chris says:

    hi marilyn,
    I applied for divorce from my ex of 10 years and we are now just getting the nisi but no financial settlement in place, he has refused mediation and also refuses a lumpsum or pension for me and our two children, he does give me for the kids and pays for the debts. he has left me with nothing as I have not worked for years because of his job( hm forces) I have not got my own pension in place or in a decent place I can support myself financially. at what point can I apply the courts for a settlement and how would I do it

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Chris
      You need to go to court. Go and see a solicitor and discuss your funding options. Short term financial arrangements need to be put in place to ensure your long term future.

  199. Jules says:

    Hi, I got my Nisi in September 2012 and myself and my soon to be ex husband reached and signed a settlement that was signed off by the court two weeks ago. But now my solicitor is refusing to allow me to obtain my Absolute until her fees are paid. She says that she cannot apply for the Decree Absolute until such times as all costs have been discharged. My ex has agreed to pay the divorce costs but hasn’t done so yet. I got legal aid for the Ancillary Relief process.

    Can the Absolute really be prevented from being issued for this reason? All I want is my freedom and to start my life again.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Jules
      I suspect your solicitor is actually saying she won’t do any more work until she is paid which if thats the case, is perfectly understandable.
      You can apply for your DA direct.

  200. Kirsten says:

    I am dating a separated man and we are considering cohabiting. I am divorced with 3 children and have a high income and considerable savings. Will it be possible for his wife to take my finances into account in the divorce settlement? She is working full time and have one child living at home.

  201. Sharon says:

    Good Afternoon

    Firstly, the wealth of information you provide is staggering, I can’t imagine how much time it must take to so regularly update a blog, so thank you.

    In June ’12 I informed my husband of 22 years that I wanted a divorce. We are both living in the same house, and despite a very bumpy initial time, things now are fairly amicable. We have both taken legal advice. Our financial issues though are proving to be a sticking point. Could you please advise me on the following:

    The house- we have a mortgage in joint names, he would like to stay here, but is reluctant to buy me out stating at his age (57) he does not want to be increasing the mortgage. At what point in proceedings does he ‘have’ to buy me out and how do i get to ‘that’ point? Also, he has had drawn up a document requesting that I sign it to severe the joint tenancy, I understand this is just to stop his share of the house to automatically transfer to me on his death, is this correct? He says I don’t have to sign it and it will go through without my signature, again, is this correct?

    Pensions – he has 2, I have none. He is claiming that he will not have to give me any of his pension and that when he does finally retire, as I will be still working (I am 43), I may end up having to pay him some sort of support. Is this true, and how do I find out what his pensions are actually worth?

    Shares – he has a Sharesave a/c via his employer (due to mature in Feb ’14) , but says that I will only be entitled to the money that was in there up until the day I announced I wanted to leave him, i.e June ’12. Is that correct?

    Children – both over 18 and working so no issues there.
    Money – divided 50/50 at time of split.

    Sorry for the long list of question and thank you in advance of your reply.

  202. Frances says:

    Good morning Marilyn, I have read all the great advice you have given, but don’t know if you can help me or not as I live in Scotland. ….although I am hoping process is very similar to England? My question is that my ex-husband petitioned for divorce. The case was then sisted unti we agreed the financial position etc. We now have a court order in place agreeeing finances and that I custody of our son. The sist was then lifted to allow the divorce action to proceed undefended. My ex simply has to file affidavits with the court, but he will not do so. We are both living with a new partner and have been separated for 2 and a half years. He is simply dragging his heels out of badness because he knows I have a wedding booked. My lawyer has tried to push matters along, but it has costs me thousands and I am no further forward, and getting deeper and deeper into debt trying to pay legal expenses. Can you advise if there is anything I can do to try to progress divorce action. Many thanks

  203. Brian says:

    I was married a long time ago and my ex has remmarried and i av never had a absolute or any papers 4 a divource and i’m wanting 2 get married. We had no contact 4 years so can u help by answerin my questions.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Brian
      You need a copy of your decree absolute from your local court where you obtained your divorce.

  204. gabby says:


    Hope you can help me.I have applied for nisi to become absolute on the 13 may.On the 17 i have received some papers stating that i need to attend a hearing on the 29 as my ex husband applied on the 9th for the same thing.What would happen if i dont attend?Basically we both applied for it but i cannot take the time off to attend .We dont have any assets or children .We both wrote statements of truth in regards to this.

  205. Sue says:

    Hi, I’ve just come across your blog and wondered if you were still active on this. I have my decree nisi (3rd June) and the time has now passed to be able to obtain the absolute. I have been working with CAB to save on costs as I don’t have much money. I ticked all the boxes on the nisi application as they suggested to be able to apply for the necessary financial orders but they have said I don’t need to have these in place before I get the absolute. Is this correct?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Sue
      You can apply for Decree Absolute without a financial order as this post makes abundantly clear. However it also makes clear that this may not be wise. I know you are saving on costs but frankly this is to my mind a no brainer if you want a financial settlement. Go and see a solicitor for an hour’s advice and find out exactly where you stand.

  206. Grounds for divorce - Marilyn Stowe Blog says:

    […] It is also widely assumed that the final decree absolute stage in a divorce cannot happen without the couple reaching a financial settlement first. This is, in fact, not the case. […]

  207. Ray Carman says:

    Dear Marilyn,
    Thank you for providing such an excellent blog.
    I have had a very rough marriage of 29 years having been violently abused many times and have my decree nisi dated 29-07-2013.
    We have no children. Neither of us have a pension. I am not a big earner and have no savings. We jointly own a house with no mortgage and no joint account. My Solicitor has diarised the Absolute to be granted asap after 10-09-2013.
    I have agreed for my wife to live in our home for another 18 months before the property needs to be sold and do not require a financial settlement before the Absolute, however, my wife has applied for a financial order, the first appointment is on 22-10-2013.
    I’m sorry if this type of question has been answered fully before but can my wife (I’m the petitioner for divorce) stop the Absolute from being granted before the financial order has been made by the Court as no order appears to have been made on the Nisi?
    Many thanks,

  208. Sally J says:

    This isn’t a normal case. My step mother filed for divorce from my father in September 2012. They have the nisi but not the absolute. They still own a property together which she moved away from and which he still occupies. My father has left his half to me and severed joint tenancy because he is dying of cancer (probably in the next month). (She left him a month before diagnosis).
    Without Absolute, does she still have the right to contest the will with more power as they aren’t fully divorced? Ie, will she get the full house?
    Our solicitor says no, but I’m really unsure and don’t put it past her to fight me all the way even though I’m now my dads carer!
    Bad times!
    Thanks, Sally

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Sally
      Your step mother is entitled to make an application under the Inheritance Provision for Family and Dependents Act 1975 if she is not provided for in the divorce proceedings. The court will most likely deal with it as they would a divorce settlement and the fact he has willed his half to you does not stop her making an application for it.
      So what counts here, is the financial settlement on divorce which needs to be effected if not already, and if possible, as quickly as possible. He should also apply if he wishes for Decree Absolute to finalise the relationship between them and she will no longer be his widow.
      The court can order an expedited hearing for financial matters given the nature of your father’s illness. He can also leave a written sworn statement about his finances and explaining his position for any future proceedings.
      Im not expressing an opinion as to what he should do, I can’t give you any more than general pointers as to what he might do, but I suggest he does take urgent advice from his solicitor.

  209. Sally says:

    Thank you, Marylin.
    When I say ‘step children’ they are both over 40 now so are not dependants, and neither am I.
    There has been a lot of messing about with my dad having to half his bond to give to her (already done) but its going to be too late to go to court about halving her ISAs and savings to give to my father. So nothing else has been mentioned. We were just wanting to protect what’s rightfully mine (his half of the house) – I’m not bothered about bonds and savings, I’d rather lose them if it meant a quick end and therefore tie up loose ends for my father’s more peaceful end with him not worrying about it. Would she also draw a widows pension along with her own if the absolute didnt go through?
    Thanks again

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Sally
      Again all I can do is give some pointers. A widow with no decree absolute in place, would be entitled to draw state widows pension and any other benefits that would automatically pass to her as a widow. If there is a private pension an estranged spouse could nominate any pension benefits on death to be paid elsewhere if that is possible under the scheme rules. A will needs to be as water tight as possible in these circumstances. A sworn statement may need to accompany it. Her reasonable needs should be assessed in the context of the entire circumstances and provided for or it may be she has no further needs and your half share is safe:- I don’t know.
      Again I repeat get some urgent legal advice to check out your father’s position. There are various possible options and time is of the essence and need to be discussed including whether or not to proceed to Decree Absolute, and an expedited settlement and also how best to protect his estate from a claim by her.
      I really can’t sufficiently stress how important this is to ensure peace of mind for you all and especially your father whose wishes still do count.

  210. Jayne says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    my patners ex petitioned his divorce with a ‘clean break’ At the time their son was living with her (who is nearly 19 and on job seekers allowance) and my partner still paid her £250 a month for child maintenance. In jan she threw the son out and my partner stopped paying the money to her, instead providing for his son seperatley. As soon as this money stopped going to her (she is on benefits herself) she suddenly wanted spousal maintenance of the same figure.(he has little disposable income after his outgoings including paying off old joint debts they had) The Decree Nisi was already granted by then and we thought it would be straightforward, letters have gone backwards and forwards to solicitors where they are constantly asking for updates to my partners pension state and wage etc and not responding to questions re her situation and agreeing to pension etc. My partner can no longer afford solicitors fees to continue with the mediation they want and the threat of them taking him to court which could cost £12K! Can he give the option to accept the pension dividing offer (which is a fair division based on time apart)and get the absolute, or the alternative is him having to scrap the divorce until he is in a position to continue paying solicitors fees? She by the way gets legal aid so is happy to drag it out!

    sorry! regards, Jayne

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Jayne
      The divorce proceedings are entirely separate of the finances except his ex may not want to go to Decree Absolute if she would miss out on automatic pension be edits if he were to pass away between then and a financial settlement in place.
      He needs to consider the overall finances with a solicitor. Her needs, his needs in the context of what there is and then it has to be fairly divided up.
      He can get legal aid for mediation if he satisfies the financial criteria or he can go on his own if he can’t afford a solicitor but he should first of all have a chat to find out what is fair.
      Mediation doesn’t always work so the next option is to either apply for a financial settlement or if he doesn’t want one, to try and get decree absolute by applying to the court, three months after the six week waiting period is up.
      These situations do resolve but usually with a lawyer who knows what to do. There are lawyers around who charge at the former legal aid rates or give some free advice.

  211. Jayne says:

    Hi Marilyn, thank you very much for such a rapid response!!
    I will pass this onto my partner,

    thank you again
    regards, Jayne

  212. Gus Prentice says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    My mother recently passed away , she left no will and a house that has a mortgage on it. There are no other family members to make a claim on the house but it seems that a divorce from 35 years previous was never finalised . I have records of the decree nisi but not the decree absolute. I have applied to the court where the divorce was petitioned for any records of a decree absolute. My question is what happens if the divorce was not finalised? Any info would be appreciated .


    Agustin Prentice

  213. teresa says:

    My partner and his wife were both declared bankrupt last year. She is divorcing him but refusing to apply for the decree absolute as she wants a financial settlement fot the children. The assets were all given to bankruptcy and my partner is currently not working and living with me I am financially supporting him at present. Is it likely the court can make an order based on fact that they are both bankrupt?

  214. Alan says:

    Dear Marilyn
    I am petitioner, I have applied for divorce, It’s been more then six weeks i have recieved decree nisi, but when I called the county court for submitting application for decree absolute, they told me for some reasons I cannot apply for decree absolute. And the case is on review, And they are unable to tell me the reason. There are no children and financial arrangements in my case. Can you please advice how I can find out what are the reasons and why I can’t apply for decree absolute from court.
    Thank you

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Alan
      I have no idea what the problem might be. There is no point in my guessing. I suggest you call into the court office and ask them. Or you could submit an application for decree nisi to be made absolute and see what happens. Either you will receive a Certificate of Decree Absolute or you will hear from the court as to what is going on.

  215. Alan says:

    Dear Marilyn
    Thank you for your reply, I recieved a letter from court today in which its written as,
    No Decree absolute be issued without permission of the Queen’s Proctor.)
    I am really confused, Can you please explain me what does it mean.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Alan
      See this:-Intervention of Queen’s Proctor under section 8 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

      (1)In the case of a petition for divorce—

      (a)the court may, if it thinks fit, direct all necessary papers in the matter to be sent to the Queen’s Proctor, who shall under the directions of the Attorney-General instruct counsel to argue before the court any question in relation to the matter which the court considers it necessary or expedient to have fully argued;

      (b)any person may at any time during the progress of the proceedings or before the decree nisi is made absolute give information to the Queen’s Proctor on any matter material to the due decision of the case, and the Queen’s Proctor may thereupon take such steps as the Attorney-General considers necessary or expedient.

      (2)Where the Queen’s Proctor intervenes or shows cause against a decree nisi in any proceedings for divorce, the court may make such order as may be just as to the payment by other parties to the proceedings of the costs incurred by him in so doing or as to the payment by him of any costs incurred by any of those parties by reason of his so doing.

      (3)The Queen’s Proctor shall be entitled to charge as part of the expenses of his office—

      (a)the costs of any proceedings under subsection (1)(a) above;

      (b)where his reasonable costs of intervening or showing cause as mentioned in subsection (2) above are not fully satisfied by any order under that subsection, the amount of the difference;

      (c)if the Treasury so directs, any costs which he pays to any parties under an order made under subsection (2).

      I think you should contact a solicitor for advise as it seems that some irregularity has come to light which is being investigated.

  216. Jane says:

    Please help. My consent order was agreed in court on August 19th. I am waiting for my Absolute.

    In the mean time my ex is disputing the order as he says the marital home has increased in value since the valuation 18 months ago. It is a difference of 8k!

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Jane
      I wish him luck!
      Your absolute should be with you soon it’s probably in a pile at your local court to be dealt with. You could go to the court office and they might hand it to you.

  217. Alan says:

    Thank you v much for your advice.

  218. Christine says:

    Hi Marilyn
    Thank you for your site; has stopped me from screaming to read such helpful, straightforward advice. I have been separated from my husband for 9 months. I applied for divorce as he asked me to as he had no grounds to divorce me. I agreed as, at that time, I was so bewildered with everything and so confused I went on automatic pilot. I left my family home as my husband wished to buy me out. We worked out a financial share of 50/50 including his pension. He refused to see a solicitor so I did and he agreed to pay so much towards the divorce as per the quote from the solicitor. He will not pay anymore, I have received my ‘settlement’ . The decree nisi has been granted. I have not applied for absolute as I am absolutely drained emotionally and refuse to pay any more to a divorce I didnt want. My solicitor says there is possibly another £300-500 to pay! My husband wants a clean break order also. A lot of my belongings are still in my former home and now my husband will not allow me to have it until I apply for the absolute. Is he allowed to do that? Can I apply in person for the absolute to the Court? and what about the CBO?
    Thank you so much. Christine

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Christine
      Some tough love. This is not the time to be feeling sorry for yourself, drained and exhausted. You have legal issues to resolve and this is the only opportunity you will have to make sure all is well, both now and in the future. So, I know its hard but grit your teeth, fight back and sort yourself out.
      50/50 is not set in tablets of stone. It isn’t automatic. What actually happens is that assets both income and capital are divided in terms of meeting both parties reasonable needs and the lower earner usually has need of more of the assets for obvious reasons.
      Has that happened in your case? Is a clean break appropriate? Should the house be unsold? Is the overall deal correct? There isn’t yet an order in place so there may still be time to ensure that what you’ve been apparently sleepwalking into is either correct or might still be salvaged.
      As to the legal costs again this has to be sorted between you. But why have the costs been overshot? This may be a complaint against your solicitor if the costs estimate was exceeded and you weren’t told. The firm will have a complaints procedure and ultimately there is the Legal Ombudsman.
      As for the remaining issues, yes you can apply for DA yourself but frankly what I’d suggest you do first is make sure you’ve been fully protected financially before it’s too late. If you have doubts about your current solicitor then go and see another, but make sure that person is a good family lawyer.

  219. Helen says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    i have my decree nisi for about 3 years but not my absolute…I was advised to wait until the ancillary relief was done before applying for it but this took years to get to court and be concluded as court dates were either cancelled by my ex or the courts themselves.. when the ancillary relief was completed i was so emotionally drained and in a hole financially i have not applied to for the absolute. I understand in order to get this absolute now i have to fill in a D36 form? And write a statement that must be sworn to state we have had no relationship, further children etc since the nisi was granted but i just don’t know where to start – does it need to written in a particular format? And I’m also worried about costs and if there is anything else I have to do…? Please help

  220. Cathy says:

    The blog is amazing, thank you.

    My query is this. I obtained a Decree Nisi in 2006 on the grounds of 2 years separation. My ex and i went to mediation, sorted out property issues and the children with no real problems. He developed a mental illness not long after and every time i was going to try for the absolute he had a psychotic episode, involving mental institutions and sections – very traumatic and scary times for me and the children.
    So i didn’t get the absolute. Last year he got nasty and said if i didn’t get the absolute within 2 weeks he would apply to the court for a new nisi and sue me for divorce on the grounds of adultery. I told him i wasn’t going to respond to blackmail and/or threats. a few weeks later he said that he’d discovered he couldn’t do that.

    Since then he has acquired a solicitor over a different matter and she recently informed me that he was seeking the absolute on the grounds of 5 years separation, and that if i did not contest it he wouldn’t sue me for costs. My questions to her were – if the Nisi exists how can it be changed, and as he is in receipt of legal aid how can he sue me for costs? 6 weeks later she still hasnt answered my queries and i dont know where to look for the information. Can you tell me where i might find out and if it is reasonable for her to have completely ignored me when i asked her to clarify her own letter.
    I cant afford my own solicitor as every penny i have goes on paying the bills and supporting me and our 3 children

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Cathy
      I’m not clear about the facts here so are you saying you don’t want decree absolute but he does?
      If you don’t and won’t apply, (and I think if you do, you will still need to file a sworn statement about your circumstances since 06 to date) then he could potentially apply for the decree absolute if you haven’t since resumed cohabitation and seek costs. Or if too much time has passed and the court requires a fresh petition, he could apply to dismiss these proceedings and issue a new petition based on 5 years separation and potentially seek his costs from you for obstructing the original divorce?
      Have you sorted your finances? Made a will?

  221. Beatrice says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    My partner separated from his wife 18 months ago after almost 18 years together (9 years married + 3 kids). They both have solicitors that are not very forth coming with advice leaving my partner very frustrated as to where he stands. His ex filed for the divorce but is now dragging her heels with everything from filing her Form E to agreeing to court dates. My partner is currently paying her around 70% of his monthly salary and she is claiming its not enough. He made her an offer for a clean break and she could keep 100% of their assets (which is an investment house and more than 100,000 pounds in cash policies) and he would pay continue to pay 25% of his net salary to cover his child maintenance until all children are 18 years (about 5 years away). She has said she wants all the assets and 80% of his salary each month otherwise she will not settle. This is absurd and clearly not affordable for us. She has delayed the court dates again asking for another 4 months and we want this over and done with now as its affecting my partners relationship with his teenage kids. We feel we have no alternative except to stop paying her at all so she has to access the money policies (which she sneakily put in her name alone!!). Money is getting tight now as we are giving so much to her and and we have asked her to cash in the policies to cover some of the expenses like uni fees and she refuses to acknowledge this as she feels she is entitled to keep all of the money as the policies are in her name only (even though its my partners salaries. She has never had a job since they have been together). Can you please advise what the ramifications are if we stop paying her above the 25% child maintenance as we want her to use the investment funds to cover some of the extra expenses and we want this matter finalised ASAP. Thanks in advance.

  222. Cathy says:

    Marilyn, thank you for your reply. I do want a decree absolute, and the only reason i didnt get it years ago is because of his mental health issues. When he approached me about it last year i told him i would comply with statements to the court and appearances if necessary but i would not bear the cost of it. What i didnt understand was how he could a) set aside a decree nisi that has been in place for years and b) sue me for costs when he wont be paying anything because he gets legal aid.

    I have all the emails from last year still so could prove to the court that i wasnt obstructive to the proceedings.

  223. DH says:

    Hello Marilyn.

    I’ve been separated now almost 3 years and initially tried to serve papers on my husband, which he failed to acknowledge and returned back to me. Finally this year in May I received papers he filed in a Cornish court for divorce.

    During our marriage my salary was the largest and it maintained the home especially during the many times of his his unemployment and financed a couple of ventures he attempted before finding his current business as a locksmith.

    My husband has been exceptionally sneaky when it came to finances with business ventures, savings and seldom contributed to the household. To the extent he opened several bank accounts to ‘hide’ monies and he always pleaded poverty and kept the current accounv into which my salary was paid overdrawn, whilst still using my income to purchase articles for his business or pay his credit card which was used to buy stock for the locksmiths.

    Whilst married in the earlier months. I contribute in excess of £37,000 from the sale of my house into his account to get his own home in order to sell. Which he did and bought another one in his sole name which he claims I have no claim over despite paying the mortgage and other bills during our marriage. Even claiming that we were not married when he bought the house when in fact we’d been married over two years!

    I am currently awaiting the Decree Nisi hopefully I’m the next few days but so far there has not been any mention of finances!

    Am I going to find myself in a weaker position once the Decree Absolute has been served? My own solicitor seems reluctant to help as he sold the house without letting me know and disappeared to Cornwall with the monies!

    I have spoken to a mediator who in turn has suggested it needs a court to intervene due to his avoidance to resolve finances.

    Will I have a financially draining battle on my hands once the Decree Absolute is been received? What is my best option?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear DH
      With the best will in the world, I’m amazed you have a solicitor and still need additional advice. What are you paying for?! If you aren’t happy then change him or her as you are going through this process only once and it must be done with full confidence in your lawyer.
      That said, why not download my book from the sidebar and for 99p you will get 300 pages of advice about the entire process. This isn’t a cop out but I can’t say yes or no about whether you should go for DA, that should be done by your retained solicitor. What my book does do, is give you pointers to consider like what financial benefits you could lose by being divorced without a financial settlement in place. You would no longer be his widow, no longer entitled to widow’s benefits.
      Do read the book and I think it will help you. All proceeds from the book are going to charity and so far going on 4000 books have been sold.

  224. Amanda says:

    Hi Marilyn – what a great website you have.
    My boyfriend is the respondent. He and his spouse own the house where she and their 13 yr old son live. Spouse could have applied for Decree Absolute last month, but didn’t, and the Financial Agreement is unresolved.

    At Mediation, my boyfriend agreed she could remain in the marital home until their son reaches 19, whereupon the house would be sold. They agreed a 50/50 split. So that matters could be resolved quickly, my boyfriend waived his right to half her ISA, said he would not hold her liable for any of his debt at time of separation, and kept quiet about the following:

    Spouse owns an apartment overseas that she inherited from her family. She has tenants. A friend receives the rent which she passes on to Spouse.

    Spouse’s solicitor wrote to my boyfriend’s solicitor recently, stating that Spouse wants 60% of the house when it’s sold and that she disagrees that there should be a co-habitation/re-marriage clause in the agreement that would trigger the house sale.

    Due to my boyfriend’s low income it is unlikely that he would need to pay spousal maintenance, so his solicitor thinks that Spouse is ‘trying it on’. He will write to say that his client wants to stay with what was originally agreed.

    My boyfriend’s solicitor has advised him to not apply for Decree Absolute (in January 2014) until the Financial Agreement has been settled. This could be through a costly and lengthy court case.

    My boyfriend has now made his solicitor aware that Spouse has assets not mentioned at Mediation. They hope she will be reluctant to make a financial declaration to the court because she is receiving benefits, and will therefore agree to 50/50.

    However, what might happen if it does go to court and she makes a financial declaration deliberately omitting the overseas asset? Would it be her word against my boyfriend’s? Could they give her the benefit of the doubt, as it might be complicated to prove an overseas asset is owned, whereby she could potentially walk away from the court with 60% of the house plus all her assets? Or, would the court employ the services of a forensic accountant to discover the truth? Would her property become part of the divorce settlement?
    We just want the DA, we’ve been together for nearly 4 years!

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Amanda
      I cant express an opinion in a case where both parties have lawyers and I don’t have all the facts. All I can say is that the Decree Absolute and financial application are not inter dependent. If the Petitioner wants DA then he or she can get one – unless it has been agreed neither party will apply until finances are resolved or there could be some type of irreplaceable financial loss if DA is obtained before a financial settlement is in place? If the Respondent wants DA too then that is possible by making an application to the court 3 months after the initial 6 week 1 day waiting period has passed.
      As to procedure, both parties must give full frank and honest disclosure as to the entirety of their finances by completing a Form E. Nothing must be left out. It must all be disclosed. The procedure permits parties to prepare and be ordered to answer questionnaires and also for an accountant to be instructed if requested. If property is owned off shore or onshore and it is known where they are, it isn’t too difficult to trace them and obtain details of ownership depending on the country involved. See my book in the side bar for more detailed information. At 99p its worth it and the proceeds go to charity.
      If the parties aren’t that far apart, then it makes sense overall to try and resolve the dispute. One way forward might be to issue the application to the court, obtain sworn disclosure, prepared and obtain answers to the Questionnaires and then the parties could either negotiate or go back to mediation.

  225. Dave says:

    My new partner was divorced 18 months ago but did not agree a Financial Settlement with her ex. Could we safely buy a new home together or could my assetts or our joint assetts be taken into account if her ex pursues a settlement in the future?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Dave
      Until there is a final order the court will determine the asset position at the date of the final hearing. So even though your assets won’t directly come into it, and he has no claim on them, you could be dragged in to an argument about her needs and ordered to file details of your own financial position. She would need to inform the court if you are cohabiting or intend to cohabit or marry.
      If you were to buy a property jointly you need to consider what would happen in the event of separation from her, or death of either of you and protect yourselves accordingly.
      Go and see a solicitor.

  226. Jorge Ferreira says:

    Hi Marilyn, amazing website you have got! I recently applied for the decree absolute wich I am the respondent but for work circumstances I couldn’t atend to the hearing and neither my ex did, what should I do to book another hearing? Kind regards

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Jorge
      Why doesn’t your wife apply which she can do simply by filing her application as the petitioner and paying the court fee which perhaps you could pay or split? If that’s not possible or if you prefer, you need to find out if the court dismissed your application in which case you have to apply again or adjourned it in which case you can ask the court to re list the application for a further hearing. Call in at the court and find out.

  227. Louise says:

    Hi Marilyn if possible id like some advice. My husband filed for divorce which at the time we both agreed and I signed the papers I received the decree which was in court the 4/11/13 which I believe the six weeks till the final decree starts from that date? Me and my husband have not stayed away from each other through the whole process which is now 6 months so I feel we have a good chance of saving our marriage what would we need to do and how late can you leave it if we can put a stop to it?

    kind regards


    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Louise
      A divorce petition can be dismissed without too much difficulty prior to decree nisi but it is more difficult afterwards unless you both jointly apply to the court to rescind the decree nisi and dismiss the petition. If you and your husband genuinely feel there is a chance of making a success of your marriage then that is the option. Six weeks and a day after decree nisi your husband can apply for the decree to be made absolute and you could potentially apply to stop him getting the decree absolute, if you have an exceptional reason. I note you say “me and my husband have not stayed away from each other through the whole process which is now 6 months” I don’t know the basis on which the divorce was obtained, but there is a case where the law was discussed:-Kim v Morris [2012] EWHC 1103 (Fam) (Parker J) 2 May 2012
      Why not have a conversation with a local solicitor taking your divorce papers with you to find out and do refer to this case.

  228. Claire (Amanda) says:

    Hi Marilyn
    Thanks for your reply (of 8 November). Spouse’s solicitor has not yet responded to say that what had been agreed at Mediation will be honoured by her client, so your final paragraph could prove very useful. Given that Spouse has undeclared assets that my boyfriend has no wish to claim any part of, she would be wise to keep it out of court.

    I was aware that Absolute can be obtained (after the given period 6 weeks, one day), even if the financial order is not finalised. However, my boyfriend’s solicitor believes that the court is likely to say ‘no’, precisely because the financial agreement is still unresolved. He is going to follow his solicitor’s advice on this. Disappointing, as it could be months before he is divorced, if the case does go to court. Your very well-priced book could be on the Xmas list!
    Best wishes

  229. Louise says:

    Than you for your reply earlier today so the stage I’m at now is the six week period are we not then divorced? or is it then my husband has to apply for the absolute its this I’m not clear on

    kind regards

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Louise
      There is a mandatory six weeks one day wait period between decree Nisi and decree absolute when the divorce is final. Your husband as the petitioner must apply for decree absolute after the wait time has passed. If he doesn’t you aren’t divorced. You can apply three months after the wait time as the respondent but if neither of you does, you aren’t divorced.

  230. Louise says:

    Marilyn thank you so much think its a bit clearer now

    kind regards


  231. Deborah says:

    If the respondent files for the decree absolute but the petitioner has moved out of the country and cannot attend the hearing to finalize the decree will that matter?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Deborah
      No. As long as it can be proved that the petitioner has been served with the application, failure to attend should not stop the hearing going ahead.

  232. Candice says:

    Hello, my husband and I were married just 5 years. In that time he became an abusive controlling bully, after an abusive attack where police were involved and his admission to a friend of infidelity, he then manipulated me to agree to him divorcing me for unreasonable behaviour so he would pay costs, made up a load of lies which I did a Ryder. This was ignored he got awarded costs I don’t know why. We agreed that I would keep the house as I had owned it for many years before I met him take on the large mortgage debt he had was added to my original mortgage and became a joint mortgage. He has now gone back on the agreement and got a financial hearing in February. Nisi has taken place but no absolute yet. I have a lot of equity in my property prior to meeting him I inherited the property. The value has only increased by the amount the mortgage has increased. My question is can he have a claim on my house. I have no money or savings, not a high salaried job and worried about paying legal fees. My family have helped pay solicitors so far but cannot anymore. I don’t know if I can now get legal aid. We have no children. He is 20 years my senior and is claiming lump sum payment pension etc also he is self employed and probably will show little earnings. Form E have not yet been submitted also his solicitor ticked the box saying we have done mediation but we haven’t. It was the original agreement then he went back on it and has now applied to the court playing the victim. Hindsight I should have divorced him but I am scared of him so just agreed to him being the petitioner.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Candice
      I am sorry that you are in this situation. It seems that for a quiet life you have done as asked but things aren’t working out as you hoped. This often happens and what you need to do is be robust and determined, with your eye to settling, but not being over generous. Positioning yourself with a good case is important so a Judge understands where you are coming from and why.
      The court will most certainly take into account the value of your home, and the amount of money you introduced into this short childless marriage. The court will consider both your contributions during this marriage and your respective reasonable needs going forward. What did he have before the marriage? Where did he live? How much did he earn? What income and capital assets did he have? Can he return to something similar? He could argue he enjoyed a higher standard of living during the marriage, but that was only courtesy of non marital assets i.e assets you had before the marriage. How did you come by them? Were they a gift from your family, earned by you, inherited? All important and not to be ignored.
      The court will also take into account future income and ability to increase income capacity.
      The court wont give him a substantial slug after such a short marriage where he has put nothing into it other than paying some bills, which you could argue (if the figures stack up) were a substitute for rent he would have had to pay anyhow. It would be wrong for him to benefit from assets you already had.
      So you could take a robust stance but I don’t know the other side of the coin. That’s why you need to take legal advice and you should be now have had a steer about what to do. Get yourself a good family lawyer who specialises in finance and for a few hundred pounds it should be well worth the advice.
      You can also download my book from the side bar which will cost you 99p, proceeds to charity, and which again will provide you with a great deal more advice than I can in this reply.
      Best wishes,

  233. Lianna says:

    Hi Marilyn
    My husband and I have been separated for over 15 years and I have recently filed for divorce. We have no property but do have a daughter who is nearly 16. He has never contributed in any way to my daughter’s care which I have stated in the statement of arrangements for the divorce. He was served with the papers on November 19th. What do I do? I do not want to spend any more money for him to be served by a bailiff which I understand is going to cost me another £105. Can I apply for the case to proceed without his consent anyway and if so how do I go about this?


    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Lianna
      For the divorce to proceed the court must be satisfied he has had the divorce petition. The court needs proof. You can claim the cost of the divorce including service of the petition back from him. You could try sending him an e mail to that effect and tell him if he doesn’t return the Acknowledgement of Service back to the court pronto you will instruct a bailiff or enquiry agent and claim the costs back from him. Keep the e mail and use it to get a costs order when you apply for decree nisi.

  234. JZ says:

    Thank you for this brilliant website. I have a solicitor but all he does is go along with whatever my ex says. In short I applied for the DA (even though solicitor wrote to his solicitors saying we would wait until Fin arr had been completed). Now he is taking me to a court hearing to get the DA rescinded. Do I have to go? I feel he is wasting court time and money with no benefit from you above posts, only that he could have applied for my pension? In any event the solicitor I have has taken £11k plus and I am no further forward. Can the DA be rescinded we were only married for 8 months and he was convicted for domestic violence. That is very annoying as the needs assessment does not take into account that I am in this situation because of his controlling and abusive behaviour!!!

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear JZ
      Yours is an interesting question which is legally tricky.
      As the Miller Smith case makes clear, there has to be a very good reason for DA not to go ahead in the normal way. Were his solicitors right to request your agreement and were your solicitors right to agree to it? What has he lost as a result that can’t be compensated out of the assets? Is it necessary to rescind the DA?
      You need to take legal advice with potentially a view to recouping any loss you now sustain, including all legal costs incurred and any you may be ordered to pay especially if DA is rescinded, from your original solicitors.

  235. Andrew says:

    Married for eight months until what? The divorce petition?

    You cannot – come what may – issue a petition for divorce until a year after the marriage. If you do the DA can be set aside even after both parties have re-married: I know of such a case professionally. In fact the court’s computer system should spit out the process at some stage.

  236. Jenny says:

    Married for almost 20 years. I am the wife and major breadwinner in the family with a teenage child. Recently discovered that my husband has been leading a double life for nearly 3 years with a work colleague, although he claims that although they have had an affair, in recent times they are just close friends (but they still take a lot of holidays and spend weekends together when he is supposed to have been with male friends). I have paid a massive amount into the family income pot compared with my husband and he has always spent more money than he personally earns and proportionately ore than I spend. I am in the process of buying him a house to buy him out of the matrimonial home. If I buy him a house with cash in his name whilst we are still married and not legally separated, is it still classed as joint assets for the purpose of a divorce settlement? I feel very uncomfortable doing this, but he insists it is OK and will be treated as half mine? I an desperate to get some sanity back in my life, which I can’t do until he moves out.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Jenny
      I advise caution. You need detailed legal advise. I suggest whatever you intend to do, is done on the basis of informed legal advise and is documented into a consent order in divorce proceedings or at the very least as part of a post nuptial agreement or separation agreement to be made into a consent order on divorce. Financial settlements are not straight forward and are dealt with on the basis of all the assets at the time of the hearing. The current law states that all assets are available for sharing although there are strong arguments for excluding assets from the sharing principle such as pre owned or inherited assets.
      You don’t want to find yourself in a position where he is sitting comfortably and then at his leisure comes back for more do you? You need it all tightly battened down.
      You could download my book from the sidebar for 99p, and get much more info.

  237. JZ says:

    Andrew, We separated at 8 months and yes I had to wait for one year before starting proceedings. I believe my ex is bullying and harassing me as he did in the marriage from what I have read he will not lose out on any assets as a result of the DA. But I definitely want a clean break! Thank you JZ

  238. Jo says:

    Dear Jenny
    Further to a very rushed divorce and no disclosure from my x husband – we agreed prior to divorce to sell the FMH and for me to re house with the equity and clean break. I found and put an offer in on a property but he then said that we could stay in the FMH as he was now renting with his partner and was in agreement as it was less upheaval for our 2 children (age 10). In less than 10 months he has now written to me via solicitors, stopped all voluntary maintenance ( but is assisting with mortgage) and wants the house sold immediately as he has changed jobs and is in financial difficulties and a clean break!
    Can I be forced to sell, I am no longer in a position to afford a solicitor and am so worried and afraid of how I can re house on my part time salary alone for my family.. .?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Jo
      You don’t say whether there was a court order made. If there wasn’t you must apply to the court for a full financial settlement. My book is free at the moment and you can download it from the side bar. You could do this yourself, or you could get legal advice and discuss with a firm of good lawyers how it is going to be funded. Don’t assume you can’t afford something. Your husband might be ordered to pay towards your fees.
      If there is a court order then you do need legal advice. How did it happen? were you legally advised? There is a direct access scheme to certain barristers who can give you an opinion quite cheaply about your prospects of success in setting aside the court order. Or again, go and see some solicitors. As you don’t go into details of how it happened, I can’t say one way or the other, but you must do something.

  239. JK says:

    Hello Marilyn
    Wonder if you can help highlight some issues
    Using a solicitor I filed for divorce a year ago. Howevr ex delayed returning acknowledgment of service.
    He finally did this month and a decree nisi application was sent to me. While completing it I realised basis for divorce was desertion. I remember telling solicitor to use 2 year separation. I have since parted with solicitor as they weren’t of any help to me. I am now stuck as I have to proove desertion but can’t afford a solicitor.
    Question is it possible to amend the basis for divorce without submitting a new application ?
    Thanking you

  240. Dan says:

    Hi there,

    I divorced my wife for adultary in 2007 becasue she went off with another man leaving me to look after my three children.
    We agreed to sort the issues with regards to the children and the finances ourselves. In 2010 we agreed not to pursue any finacial claims on either side and she remarired in 2012. Now I have recieved a letter from her solicitor saying that she wants a share of my pension. This all seems very unfair after I retired in 2012 becasue I though everything was settled

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Dan
      All financial claims by one party to a divorce end on remarriage. Section 28(3) Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 prevents a party to a marriage from making any application for financial provision after remarriage. Usually a petitioner can still apply, because the application is generally regarded as having been issued within the petition, before marriage even if an application for a full financial settlement has not been issued. But you say she was the Respondent. So unless she made her application for financial provision before remarriage, she should not be able to proceed with a claim against you.
      You should ask her solicitors on what basis she is making her claim, and also make it clear that you reached agreement in 2010.
      It might be the case that she did issue her application before she remarried and the agreement was not formally incorporated into a court order in 2010 and therefore she does have jurisdiction to proceed. In that case you need to argue the agreement and if its in writing or you can evidence it in some other way, then you should do so. It would be worth taking legal advice before replying however, on the law and the extent of your risk;- and also the possibility of an offer to see if it can be more cheaply knocked on the head if you are caught. Costs are usually met by each side, so you will want to weigh up the costs risk too.

  241. MANDY LEES says:

    hi my partner is divorcing his ex on the 2 year rule, she has sent the acknowledgment back saying she agrees with whats written in the petition and agrees with the divorce going ahead but has put she is defending it? Can she do this as she shays she agrees with it going ahead?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Mandy
      If there is some confusion over the content of the Acknowledgement of Service it probably would be a good idea for your partner’s ex to write to the court to clarify her position, quoting the Number at the top of the Notice of Proceedings form she also received and making it clear she does agree to a divorce on the basis of two year separation and doesn’t intend to defend the proceedings. She might be objecting to paying costs?

  242. MANDY LEES says:

    she has wrote at the bottom that she isnt in a position to pay any costs due to her having a new baby, could that be how shes defeding the case? as she has but a yes in the bocx stating she agrees with whats written in the petition and ayes in the box saying she agrees to the divorce as my partner and ex arent on taking terms

  243. MANDY LEES says:


    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Mandy
      From what you write it seems that its the costs she objecting to paying. So if that’s the case, your partner can now apply for his decree nisi and make it clear in the statement he isn’t applying for a costs order against her.

  244. JZ says:

    Just for your information the case my ex-husband took to court to rescind our divorce was unsuccessful. Thank god.

  245. MANDY LEES says:

    Hi Mariyln

    my partner has now send off the paper work for the first part of the divorce as she said she was defending it we had to give her 28 days to get her cross petition in she hasnt done this, as its a 2 year separtation and she has confirmed she agrees with what is in the petition and yes she agrees to the divorce being granted as its a two year separtaion is the judge likely to object to it being granted? as above shes agreed she wants it to go ahead


  246. MANDY LEES says:

    Hi Marilyn

    Sorry but as long as the court is aware of what?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Mandy
      She must have notified the court that she consents to the divorce on the basis of two years separation. She MUST have done this because otherwise the entire basis of the divorce ie that the parties have been separated for two years AND both consent to a divorce on that basis is undermined.

  247. MANDY LEES says:

    Dear Marilyn

    She has but on the letter of acknowledgement yes she agrees to the reason in the petition. which is a Two Year separtation and yes she agrees to the divorce being granted, she had just put yes in a box to say she was defending the divorce but 28 days have elasped and she put no extra reason in apart from on the bottom of the acknowledgement saying she cant afford to pay anything towards the costs due to her having another child (its all been paid for ) by me partner.

  248. Mariam says:

    Please could you advise me: I recently was granted a decree nisi after two years separation and I am reluctant to apply for decree absolute until a financial matter is settled. it only came to my attention in last six months that my husband had been building up a secret share portfolio – he purchased shares in an IT company and agreed to have half his salary paid in shares – this obviously had the effect of reducing the income he declared when our initial financial arrangements were being reached. the company he holds shares in is headquartered in the republic of Ireland. I am worried that if I apply for the decree absolute before these matters are resolved it might affect my right to make a claim. I am not sure if in the meantime he can go ahead and apply for the decree absolute over my head?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Mariam
      If you are the Petitioner he cant apply for Decree Absolute until 18 weeks after the Decree Nisi was pronounced and he must do so by making an application to the court which you are entitled to attend and oppose assuming you have grounds to do so. Please read the case in the post, and ask your solicitor.

  249. Fee says:

    Dear Marilyn,
    I found your blog for the first time tonight and have been reading for hours. It’s amazing, well done.

    My partner of 2 years split with his wife about 10 years ago. When she heard about me she started divorce proceedings in Feb 2012 and decree nisi was granted in June 2012. It has taken until this week for the financial settlement to be agreed and signed off by the court although the delay has not been on my partners side. We are worried that she will not apply for the decree absolute now (again to slow the process down). As the decree nisi was granted over 18 months ago can my partner now apply for the decree absolute knowing that the financial setttlement is in place? I know in previous comments you advised the respondant could apply after 3 months but wasn’t sure if the financial situation would alter this

    Many thanks in advance

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Fee
      Your partner did not necessarily need to wait for the settlement to be in place, but in law, the financial settlement cannot be effected until there is a DA. He could write to his ex requesting her to apply for DA, as the procedure is easier and if she wont, then he can but he must make an application to the court and give notice to her. There will then be a short hearing and if he has incurred unnecessary costs he could apply for them. Because more than 12 months has passed since DN, the court will need confirmation that there has not been a resumption of cohabitation in the meantime and there have been no children born to her in that period.

  250. Fee says:

    Dear Marilyn,
    Thank very much for your help and quick response. He was advised by his solicitor that the financial settlement would need to be put in place before the DA could be applied for. I just wish I had found you 2 years ago when this process all started.

    Kind regards

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Fee
      My pleasure! Although I do answer the questions asked, and it’s very time consuming, few people take the time to say thanks. So it’s much appreciated.

  251. shanaz says:

    my x husband apply nullity petation in 15 may 2013 he is british and i m not i left the country in jun 2013 and got D8 along with acknowledge service in dec 2013 i accept that and agree what he said i mean i dont want to defend the case we dont have any child and property issue but he is not apply degree nisi and i think he dont want to do and the case is pending. i want to finish this merriage. my question is this if he not apply for degress nisi what can i do in this stage???

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Shanaz
      First I suggest you contact the relevant court to check exactly where you are with this and make sure it isn’t already sorted out. Quote the matter number on the papers you have received. If he wont finalise it, you can go to a solicitor and ask him or her to write a letter to your ex saying he either gets on with it or you will, by applying to the court yourself and for costs. Make sure he doesn’t get an order for costs against you and also make sure through your solicitor you really do have the basis for applying for a decree of nullity as opposed to a divorce.

  252. Lucy says:

    My partner separated 31/2 years ago. His wife petitioned for the decree Nisi and was granted in March 2013. For the 1st year of the separation he paid the full mortgage, joint loans and bills, after that he paid £400pm to his ex-wife for maintenance of his youngest son who was in full time education. In July 2013 his son left school and joined a goverment sponsored apprenticeship scheme and employed by a company. He is now 171/2. In July due to mortgage arrears he stopped paying his ex the £400pm but paid it directly to the mortgage company to bring the arrears down and is continuing to do so. Also he started a company pension scheme after the Decree Nisi was granted. He has now petitioned for a financial order and subsequent Divorce Absolute on a “complete break” basis and a hearing is set for April. His ex is now encouraging his son to go to university or college and give up his job. My partner believes she is doing this in order to get ongoing maintenance awarded to her, which is not what he wants. They have a joint mortgage and has pensions before Decree Nisi. His ex will not communicate with him and is obstructive specially in the early days for him to see his sons. All the way along he has tried to do the right thing by her and his 2 sons. My question is 1. Is she entitled to any of his pension started after the Decree Nisi was issued and 2. Will the court take into account the possibility of his son returning to full time education. My partner is happy to support his son himself, though directly to him.



  253. John Stiles says:

    Hi Maryin

    I have a question about the 6 week 1 day delay period.

    I called your office who advised me to post here.
    I have been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and wish to get married in 10 weeks time.

    Th only problem is I am not divorced although I have now petitioned and applied for the decree nisi.

    Is there something specific I need to ask the judge/divorce court that would mean this 6 week period can be shortened e.g. extenuating circumstances?

    My soon to be ex-wife is happy to assist this process so there is no impediments there.

    John Stiles

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear John
      You can make an application for Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute to follow immediately thereafter. I think you should put together an application with a statement explaining the situation and a medical report attached to it and your wife’s consent endorsed and submit it to the local court. There will be a fee to pay. Perhaps you should go in and lodge it personally if you are well enough along with your wife and speak to the clerk and explain what you are seeking. I am sure you will find them helpful given the circumstances. Alternatively you could instruct solicitors to do it for you and of course make sure you have the finances fully resolved and a will.

  254. Andrew says:


    All the best to you. I have when in practice got a divorce through from petition to absolute in seven days – with the cooperation of the Respondent and the good will of the court. It can be done. You will need medical evidence.

  255. Andrew says:

    Marilyn, we cross-posted, feel free to moderate me out.

  256. John Stiles says:

    Thanks to both Marylin and Andrew for the responses.

    You have allayed my partner’s fears as she was beside herself today when we were told normally it would take until then end of Feb 14 for the Nisi.

    Amazing how just a few words of advice can help chart the course of other’s lives.

    Much appreciated and most gratefully yours,
    John Stiles, Plymouth

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear John
      Its a great pleasure. I send you and your partner my best wishes. Any further problems which I hope there aren’t, please don’t hesitate.

  257. Andrew says:

    Pay the fees in cash – cheques will slow it down.

  258. Jacqueline says:


    My partner received his DN during December 2012 after his wife instigated divorce proceedings against him 15 months ago. He is in the Navy, completed 20 years service with only one year left to go. He has 3 children with his wife and has no contact as his wife claims the children do not want to see him. The children are 9, 11 and 13 years of age. No finances have been sorted due to the fact that his wife refuses to reply to any of my partners letters through his solicitor. His wife also refuses to attend any mediation. My partner pays £600 pcm to his wife which covers the mortgage which he is still on. My partner has offered to relinquish the house and continue to pay £600 pcm so long as she doesnt touch his pension – If she wishes to pursue his pension he has requested they sell the family home when the youngest turns 16 or leaves full time education. His solicitor does not seem to be informing him of ways to proceed and I have only recently found out through your informative site that he can apply for a DA !!! We cannot understand why his wife is dragging her heels and wonder if you can tell us if she has anything to gain by doing so?

    Many thanks in advance

  259. Chris says:

    Hello Marilyn,

    I’m now divorced but the financial settlement has yet to be agreed. If I buy a house now, before an agreement has been made, will my ex wife have any claim on it? The money used to buy it will have been earned post Decree Absolute. Many thanks.


  260. MANDY LEES says:


    My partner had the first part of his divorce granted on the 28.01.14 the decree absoulate is due on 12.03.14 as me and my partner plan to marry this year can the respondent stop the second part of divorce going through? as she has moved in her new partner and has had a baby with him,

  261. StuG says:

    What about where the petitioner is living on significant welfare benefits in area they wont be able to afford to stay in once the divorce is finalised and assets are distributed? The size of the assets disqualifies them from further welfare benefits. So the Applicant has the decree nisi, but wants to string out the decree absolute for as long as possible. Can the respondent then make a cross application for divorce, months after the Applicant’s decree nisi, just to speed things up?

  262. Karen says:

    Hello Marilyn

    What a helpful website this is!! My question is this. My husband filed for divorce and the Decree Nisi was granted August 2013. We went to an FDR in November 2013 and a Court Order was agreed over our finances. I have asked him to please apply for the Absolute since then, so we can have closure. I have been very unwell and am currently claiming ESA, so would find it quite difficult to pay to apply myself. 3 weeks ago my aunt died and in a few months I will have an inheritance from her after Probate. Is my husband entitled to a share if Absolute has not been reached by then?

    Many thanks, Karen

  263. JH says:

    Dear Marilyn

    I am the petitioner and was using a solicitor but ran out of money so represented myself at the FDR which resolved the financial matters. The decree nisi states that the respondent pays my divorce fees. This has never been mentioned or opposed the doc was dates 23 9 14. As I had a lawyer at the time the costs for this are higher than the £40 I now have to pay for the absolute. What exactly does the respondent have to pay for and what happens if he refuses? Many thanks for your help.

  264. pat says:

    I am the respondent the decree absolute is set for the 18th of march. My ex solicitors says they have not been instructed to deal with financial issues or children so they sent back the court papers and they want me to find my ex and serve do I stop them from applying for the decree absolute with no financial agreement made or contact with kids.

  265. Phil Hudson says:

    Dear Marilyn
    I divorced in the late 90s and because of children, she became the main carer, but we had joint custody, I gave her 66% of the asset (sale of property). We always had an informal arrangement with maintenance and never went through the CSA and never missed any payment.
    Am I entitled to seek or request the difference (16%) when the children leave home of the initial difference from the sale of the asset?
    Many thanks
    Phil H.

  266. Amanda says:

    Hi Marilyn
    I see you have lots of potential correspondence so I’ll be brief! My partner (respondent) could have applied for DA in January but his lawyer advised him to wait until financial agreement ratified.
    Five weeks ago his ex told him she’d signed the financial agreement and taken it to her solicitor. (At last.) My partner left his solicitor voicemail three weeks ago. Silence. Five weeks seems a long time. Is this normal? My partner doesn’t like to ‘hassle’ his solicitor, as if being in receipt of legal aid makes him less worthy of action. So frustrating!

  267. Samantha says:

    My partner has given his wife two thirds of the profit on the sale of their house plus extra money, in the thousands one way and another besides. They had been married for23 years but had no children together but he brought up her two at the expense of his own two children from a previous marriage. There was a verbal agreement that she wouldn’t want his pension but has gone back on the agreement and is now wanting a share in his pension. could you please advise if she has a chance of suceeding? Thank you.

  268. Luke says:

    “There was a verbal agreement that she wouldn’t want his pension but has gone back on the agreement and is now wanting a share in his pension.”

    This happens over and over and over and over again – people are so naive it’s depressing 🙁

  269. fayej says:

    Hi I stumble upon your website and gain the courage i needed to muster my voice to ask for a divorce.
    I have been in a 17 year marriage we dont have any children, the scenio is that we separated i would say in 2006, but still lived in the same house. last August i told my soon to be ex that i think we should get a divorce since we were just passing like to ships in the night. He said if i wanted it i should file. I filed for the divorce in January and base it on 2 years separation, i thought this might be the easier way to do it. when the forms came back he said he doesnt agree with the 2 years separation statement, but will consent to the divorce. now that i have send the forms back to the court for the Nisi he text me to say that hes decided hes not going through with the divorce. Can he do that?? and what implication will this be re the courts. Thank you in advance for your response.


  270. Andrew says:

    Fayej, the Respondent can withdraw consent in a two-year-and-consent case up to the point of the nisi and there is nothing you can do about it. You need legal advice, and you need it now.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Both
      You can obtain a divorce on the basis of 5 years separation and he can’t stop it. In practice a divorce based on unreasonable behaviour will also go through. I think for whatever reason he is attempting to cause trouble and he needs to understand that substantial legal costs can be incurred in resolving this, and it could potentially cost him a lot of money. I agree you need legal advice to make the point and assist you if necessary to obtain your divorce.

  271. Andrew says:

    You are right Marilyn – as (nearly) ever – but what you say proves that the sooner we stop treating the divorce process as judicial and make it purely administrative the better.You want a divorce? Sign here, and come back in six weeks and say you still want a divorce, and you’ll get a certificate of divorce. Similar to a marriage certificate (but in a different colour) and the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages will also be the Registrar of Divorces.

    Since the introduction of pension sharing “grave financial hardship” is a non-runner and as for “grave other hardship” there’s only one reported case of that succeeding since 1969. So let’s bury defended divorce where they buried divorce by Act of Parliament.

    Of course the courts will still have jurisdiction over questions of money and children. Where there is no prenup, that is (as regards money), and subject to Calderbanking to discourage unnecessary litigation.

    We could be out of business, Marilyn, and we would not be missed.

    • Luke says:

      “We could be out of business…”

      Come come Andrew – Hell will freeze over first – but only if Mrs God’s lawyers don’t bring out an injunction against Mr God claiming half of the property Hell and preventing the actual freezing 🙂

  272. fayej says:

    Hi and thank you both for your advise. I told him that i wanted it as amicable as possible avoiding a costly and lengthly divorce and even suggest that we should have meditation which he said no to. I didn’t even ask him to help assist in paying for the cost of the divorce. When i asked him why he’s changed his mind, he said because he doesnt see the point. I think that its because he’s retiring soon and two of his pensions has matured, in my filing i didnt even ask for any of his pension, I’m presently waiting to hear what the court will send back before i make my next move. But i don’t have a lot of money to pay lawyers, i just want to get on with my life. The physical and mental abuse i’ve put up with from this man was terrible, but i have forgiven him and move on. He now thinks that because he has mellow out and has change that things can go back to normal, but it’s gone to far and i just want to move on.

  273. Chu says:

    I tend not to drop many responses, however after browsing a lot of comments on Delaying
    the Decree Absolute: another look at Miller Smith v
    Miller Smith – Marilyn Stowe Blog. I do have a
    couple of questions for you if it’s okay. Is it simply me
    or does it look as if like some of the remarks appear like they are coming from brain dead folks?
    😛 And, if you are writing at additional places, I’d like to keep up with you.
    Would you make a list of every one of all your public pages
    like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  274. EC says:

    Dear Marilyn
    My partner has decree absolute but no clean break certificate.
    I own the house we live in.
    My partner is worried that if we get married his ex will take half of the house.
    Is there anything we could do to prevent it.
    We thought about clean break but she will not sign it.
    Is there anything else?
    Thank you

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear EC
      Your partner’s ex cannot claim half of an asset which he does not own or have any interest in. He can apply to the court for a clean break order, but first he needs legal advice on his own financial position and that of his ex to check what might happen if he does.

  275. PI says:

    Dear Marilyn,
    I am a 53 year old man, happily married to my one and only true love, she was my first real Girlfriend. On Sunday 3rd November 2013, she sat up in bed and turned to me and said there is something I need to tell you, I am leaving you in January there is nothing you can do about it, I have fallen out of love with you there is no-one else involved.
    This was a blatant lie as one of my best friends it now transpires told his Girlfriend of 6 years that it was over at the same time that my wife walked out of the matrimonial home on 12th November.
    As you can imagine at the time I had no idea the friend was involved and even went away for a music event with him and another friend at the end of November during which my emotions were all over the place and i ranged from sobbing and crying, to wishing to get even by obtaining Financial settlement in my favour. I was holding out so much hope that the family ski holiday that we had booked over Christmas would be a chance for reconciliation and shared that with this supposed friend.
    Following this weekend in fact my wife phoned me at work on the Monday to say that she had considered the holiday and that there were only 2 options either I went or she went, but not both it is obvious where this decision had been reached between them, following the weekend.
    This supposed mate even took me for a drink on the Monday whilst my family were away on the Family ski holiday pretending to be my friend and confidante saying that I should make the divorce amicable as the only people who would gain would be Solicitors.
    As my love runs so deep and my desire to retain my marriage and family bond subsequently I have had to sign Harrassment notices and finally a Reparation notice with the Police. The Reparation notice was after He(the ex-friend) came round to tell me his great news that he was with my beautiful wife.
    I have since been shunned by my children as I have limited contact and because they live with the mother in rental accomodation. Despite the fact that I live close by in the matrimonial home an example is that my youngest son who moved away when his mother left home visited his mother, but did not advise me that he was coming back and made no attempt to visit me or contact by phone or in person.
    Even worse on Sunday the 22 year old son was out with his Mother and her boyfriend in our City centre, it just so happens where I had taken my mother for dinner. He walked by with my wife and ex-friend approx 1 yard away from where we sat in an open window, made no effort to talk to me or his only remaining Grand Parent, how do you think this made me feel.
    I feel that I am not receiving the correct advice I all I want to do is make the whole divorce process as difficult and elongated as possible. My wife has changed from the person that I knew and married i.e from a caring, loving affectionate woman to a hard nosed successful business woman with a very inflated ego!!!
    My wife has employed a local divorce solicitor who has the renown for being a Rottweiler and getting what she wants even though she is a member of “resolution”.
    My wife has filed for divorce on the basis of my depression, I have had bouts over a period of time so you can see the compassion she has!!!! I have always tried to give her the world and was always left feeling it was never enough, that I was not worthy of her love, and that I was not good enough.
    The Decree Nisi was issued 19th May, as I was told that I could not contest the divorce petition originally as the facts were true, does this make me a bad person?
    I would now like to contest the Decree Nisi on 3 grounds;
    1) Her adultery
    2) The fact that we have never attended Professional Counselling with regards to saving the marriage
    3) My Mental state
    4) Also her mental state, if you were to place myself, her new boyfriend and her first ex-husband together you would say that we are Brothers. I believe that we look like her late biological Father who left her and her mother when a small child. My wife soon to be ex has always had a hang up mentally which meant she would not even attend his Funeral even though notified about it.
    1) My belief is that my wife when the initial stages of lust are heady gives almost daily attention to her partners needs “this is the love that she wanted desperately from her Father,

    2) Then as things go on she finds excuses from “you make me hot”, rejecting cuddles and attention, kissing etc this is the rejection stage. It makes her husbands feel inadequate less of a man and then leads to depressive feelings, This is the rejection stage of her Father leaving her and her mother alone and subsequently at the mercy of her Step Father.

    3) Then the final act the heartless hurtful words, the acts of making one so emotionally distraught that you act in a totally abnormal way to the person that you are, Use of the law to bring an even quicker end. Heaping the blame on to you the loving husband who could not do enough for his wife. this is the final way to twist the knife and to ensure that equally the children feel the same way so that you as a Father lose your children as well. This is the stage where she wants to get back at her Father figure and not allow him to be able to ever upset/mistreat her children but also for them to suffer the same neglect as she herself did.
    I know this sounds like a fairy tale but if you could have seen her when advised of his Funeral you would realise how deep rooted this feeling is in her consciousness.
    What can you do for me advise me how can I contest the Decree Nisi? how can I delay the divorce proceedings?How can I delay the sale of the matrimonial home?
    I just need to get through to her, we have never had raised words or any violence of any sort and yet since she left I have ripped apart. Yet we had such a loving relationship and people would always say how much we were the ideal couple.
    I feel that I have lost my whole world, please help me!!

  276. Luke says:

    “Yet we had such a loving relationship and people would always say how much we were the ideal couple.”

    Frankly, you need to grow a pair of b**s, you are whining about trying to save a marriage to a woman who clearly cares nothing for you and it makes you look ridiculous – you are making all sorts of excuses for this woman’s behaviour but they’re laughable. She has been cheating on you and lying to you and doesn’t want you and has probably not loved you for a very long time – if ever.
    You need to start moving forward, and the first thing to do is get a good tough lawyer to fight your corner.
    Realise that you have been living an illusion and she has been taking you for a sucker, cut her out of your life completely and get some self-respect and start looking after your own situation – because if you don’t she is likely to take full advantage.
    Not what you wanted to hear I know, but somebody needs to give you a reality check – and boy do you need one…

  277. kirsty says:

    My partner is still married from a previous relationship. He asked for a divorce shortly after we started dating. It has been almost 2 years now. His wife started the divorce and paperwork was sent signed and sent back but no decree nisi. We have asked for relevant details to send her money to pay for it but she keeps saying it isnt top of her to do list. Is she dragging her feet. And what can we do ??? We have a young baby so cant afford court costs but if it needs to we will have apply. Really need some advice a.s.a.p
    she has been engaged twice in 2 years and was questionably faithful during their relationship
    please help !!!!! Thank you

  278. Edward says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    I ( the respondent) was advised not to contest my wife’s divorce petition on ground of unreasonable behaviour as I was advised that it is costly and unlikely to be sucessful. Subsequently, decree nissi was issued on 8 May 2014. After involving the church recently ,praying with the church and much consideration, I decided I made the wrong decision previously and I still love my wife and our son. I want to contect the divorce petition. My wife is refusing to let me see our son and I have just submitted a C100 to seek court order to contact and shared residence order. I am also waiting to attend the first hearing on financial settlement on 26 June 2014. Searching throught the net and read your website, I understand technically I can still defend my marriage till decree absolute is issued. I wonder if you could advised me how and if which office should I contact you for further advice. I need to act real quick as I have only 1 week left before my wife can file for decree absolute.

    Looking forward to your advice.

    Thank you

  279. Bernard says:


    I have been Separated for 1 year and 7 months , my ex wife issued a divorce june last year .. i already got the nisii decree but she put the absolute on hold … now she wants to close the mutual agreement which we had initially from day one with the the absolute .

    the mutual agreement has been changed slightly from her side before the final signature and i changed couple of things by using my lawyer before final signature and she has been delaying the process by being more greedy .

    Is it possible to issue a divorce without her consent as much as i have the Nisi Decree .


    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Bernard
      If you have a decree nisi you as Respondent can apply for it to be made absolute. You need to make your application to the court and serve her with a copy. there will be a hearing in chambers and unless she has a very good reason why not, the court will make the decree absolute. The fact that there isnt a financial settlement in place isnt on its own, a good reason.

  280. Claire says:

    I am feeling very despondent and frustrated. My partner’s ex told him that she had (at last) signed their financial agreement, on Monday 23rd June. (Decree Nisi was granted in October 2013.) The agreement states that she and their child can remain in the former matrimonial home until the child reaches 19 (in a little under six years time). If she sells in the meantime my partner would be entitled to 50% of the value of the house minus the extra mortgage payments she’d made post divorce.

    However – on Wed 25th she told him that she wants to move house, and when she sells she wants to take my partner’s share of the house with her and use it to buy a new one. I have never heard of such a thing! Have you? Her solicitor has written to my partner’s solicitor to ask him if this is acceptable! My partner thinks that it might not matter if his capital is tied up in a different property, as it wouldn’t make any difference whether it was the former home or a new house!

    I think this is wrong on so many levels – it sounds complicated, risky and aside from that, she is treating him as if they can still negotiate matters and enter into arrangements like a married couple! What part of ‘clean break’ divorce does she not understand?

    Have you ever heard of such a thing, Marilyn, and what is your take on this?

    I am hoping it will be resolved quickly and the divorce can proceed but I would be grateful to hear your point of view nevertheless.

    Many thanks.

  281. Claire says:

    Hello again, Marilyn

    A post-script to my comment above: I stated that my partner’s wife said that she had signed the agreement. If this is the case, then I assume the signature cannot be retracted, and therefore her requesting to buy a new home without releasing my partner’s funds to him is a futile exercise. However, of course she could be deceiving my partner, and has not in fact signed the agreement at all.

    (My partner’s solicitor has advised my partner to not apply for the decree absolute until the financial agreement has been ratified by the court. He is taking his solicitor’s advice regarding this.)

  282. Matt says:

    If you are terminally ill and gonig through a divorce and the end comes after the decree absolute but not before the financial settlement is reached how is this resolved? Does the executor of the estate have to come to a financial settlement?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Matt
      Yes. The proceedings if necessary will be under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975.

  283. Karen says:

    Hi Marilyn, Please can you give me some advice. I am the respondant living in the UK and a Degree Nisei was granted on the 20th May 2014. Today I rang the court to see if I had been granted a degree absolute as it is now 7 weeks since the nisei was granted. I was informed by the court that my husband had not applied for it. I was also informed that a judge had written to my husbands solicitor to say that he wasn’t satisfied with the consent order we had both agreed and signed. After coming off the phone to the court, I rang my husband to find out what was going on. He informed me that the judge felt I personally was having more than him in the settlement! This is a complete and utter joke. My husband is a very well paid top business man and I rely solely on his maintenance payments and child tax credits. Without going into the financial arrangements with you, my husband mentioned that his solicitor was now asking for a clean break order to tie in with the Degree Absolute. What I would like some advice on is…

    1: Could he still apply for the DA without the consent order being finalized?
    2: Would a clean break order resolve the consent order issue?
    3: Can he still get the DA without either of the above being resolved?

    I know I can not apply until 3 months and 1 day after he can, that will take us into mid September (If he refuses to apply for the DA before the financial arrangements are agreed on by the court).

    We both agreed on the financial arrangements and are still very good friends. I am little worried that he really doesn’t want this divorce and might try to delay the process of applying for the DA using the consent order problem as an excuse.

    Any advice would be much appreciated

    Thank you

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Karen
      I doubt the Judge would have made those remarks. You if acting in person or your solicitor are entitled to have sight of the Judge’s determination and you should ask for a copy to be sent to you, or find out when your court office is open and go and see them. As for DA you do have to wait for you to apply as you know, although of course your husband could apply irrespective of the financial order being made.
      I’m more concerned about the terms of the settlement which don’t make sense to me. If you are getting a clean break then maintenance to you will stop but usually in return for a lump sum payment.
      Are you sure you are actually getting enough? That you fully understand exactly what is happening?
      If you haven’t seen a solicitor, please go and get legal advise. But in any event you must check what has been filed at court and that it fully accords with what you’ve agreed and why the Judge has raised concerns. A solicitor could easily advise you.

  284. andrade says:

    Hi, I was reading the others problems here its unbelievable! Heres my question if you can help. My boyfriend has filled for the divorce 8 months ago it was in November 2013 and the ex has responded but she sent a copy of the form instead the original, then the court has not accept it in a copy so they sent her another form, she got more 35 days to respond then she sent a letter saying that the form that she has received was not full form that was missing pages. Now my question is what can be done in this case? it seems that she will get away with it all the times? Thanks.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Andrade
      I’m not clear here which forms you mean because you refer to 35 days? If it’s simply the papers for the divorce then your boyfriend should arrange for her to be personally served by the court bailiff or an enquiry agent with the papers and she has 8 days not 35 days to file a response. If she doesn’t file he can still go ahead and apply for decree Nisi.
      You can download my book for 99p from the side bar, the proceeds go to the Children’s Society and the divorce procedure and financial procedure if that’s what you mean are all described in detail.

  285. Linda says:


    Wondering if you could help. So myself and husband are going through the final stages off divorce he left myself and the children in 2011 for another women. Any way in this time he had an affair with my best friend and other issues had arisen.

    I am in a new relationship with a baby which I advised my solicitor off and my ex husband to be. He has been pushing and pushing for the divorce so much so that I am now not receiving a lot less as I was being nice got me know where. The consent order is with the court I found out yesterday why he has been so keen to get rid off me and keep me sweet….. He has had a baby with his his new partner not once in any off the paper work has he declared this or entered his partners finances on the form e after he insisted I do this on mine and delclare the baby I was having with my partner he has also stated that he is not in a relationship and not cohabiting.

    He also told our two children not to tell me about the baby which has confused the children.

    My question is can I stop the consent order at this stage because he has been dishonset.

    Many thanks

  286. Rebecca says:

    I think its possible to get a fully divorced without any kind of financial settlement.

  287. shirleen B. says:

    Some years ago I made an application for divorce. In the court, during the hearing the judge stated that he has grounds to believe that the marriage is irretrievably broken. I was told to return for a second hearing to which my husband and I did not, neither have I receive any documents from the courts stating that I was divorce, my husband died about a year after. Does this finalize my divorce, as were a British Territory?

  288. Andrew says:

    Death is indeed the ultimate divorce. The death certificate is all you need.

  289. Beatrice Elder says:

    Two people were married for approx 15 years with 2 children. At the time of separation in September 2006, they had a clothing business and the partnership continued after the separation. At the time of separation, they had 2 homes, one of which was let to tenants. The husband moved into the property after tenants were given notice, and signed the marital home over to the wife for the sake of their children. Around February or March 2009, the wife approached her husband and a verbal agreement was made where it was suggested and agreed, that they would sell this property to do up the marital home where the children lived and when the children become of age ie 18 years, she would sell the house and give him his share that he put into the house known as the marital home. Some months later they were both made bankrupt and the business folded. He was out of work, signed on for a while with the DWP and after payment was stopped, he worked for a while with a family friend. She in turn worked for a company of some sort. The children would spend weekends with him. Over the past 8 years, he has lived in rented supported by family and friends. They both applied to make the separation legal and the decree nisi was granted, but neither applied for the decree absolute. There has been a lot of discord between these two people with a lot of accusation be thrown in either directions. The family home on two or more occasions has been the subject of repossession, but she has borrowed money from family members to pay for the arrears. He has tried to meet with her to discuss the verbal agreement made between them, in order that he can get his share that he put in to the home before he signed it over to her. She has denied that she made any agreement with him and has now told him, he can take her to court, she will not give him a penny and he can take her to court. He now has a business of his own and this has happened in the past 2 years. She is now talking about alimony and maintenance for the children who are now adults in their 20s. Where dies he stand legally and in order for him to take this further, should he have the agreement in writing from her. Your thoughts on this would be very much appreciated.

  290. Milly says:

    My husband left in March of this year. He took over half of the money from the sale of our house without telling me of his plan, then texted to say that he wanted a quick divorce on the grounds that our marriage had irretrievably broken down. He said there was no-one else involved when, in fact, he was having an affair, although I didn’t know for a while.
    As he is a spendthrift, I was advised to quickly file for divorce in order to freeze our house money. I did although I didn’t want a divorce & still don’t. I love him dearly. Our relationship issues arose from working in different parts of the country & having to be away from each other Monday to Friday for 4/5 years, menopause, andropause, empty nest & psychological issues arising from the 2 Gulf Wars my husband took part in as a military man. Prior to these issues, we were extremely happily married for almost 30 years. Given favourable circumstances e.g. living together full time (we were always happier the more time we spent together) I firmly believe the issues can be resolved. We have a lovely family & both are very family orientated. The sticking point is that we are now seperated at my husband’s instigation & heading for Decree Nisi imminently. He spends all his free time with ‘the other woman’ (a family friend & army wife, same as me) who has been a confidante during our vulnerable time, offering him comfort in all ways. She wants him for herself as she is divorced. He is a good catch. What can I do to win him back & stop this wretched situation from breaking us up forever? We could live together now if he would only agree & she would leave him alone. Basically, I’m discarded although I’m attractive, kind, loving & a good wife. The other woman has had a violent marriage but she’s new & exciting to him. His head has turned his head. I married my husband for life. I believe we can recover & be happy again with help & advice…..please

  291. Caroline Lowe says:

    I am looking to apply for the decree absolute to be delayed as my husband wants a divorce before we agree a financial settlement. I am acting I person and trying to get to grips with the law in this area. I understand the difficulties in achieving a delay through Dart v Dart and Miller Smith. However, if I can show special or exceptional circumstances, should I on the application say I’m applying under s9(1) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 as this clause still seems to apply, and then under Family Procedure rule 7.31? Would I then within the application request that the court exercise its inherent jurisdiction?

  292. suki says:

    Dear Marilyn,
    Wonderful site! I am the petitioner and I am filing for divorce from my husband on the grounds of adultery. I have communicated my intent to him and have a lawyer. He is unresponsive and blocked communication. He now lives in Germany ( I reside in UK) and I need the papers to be served. My solicitor has quoted charge of £500 for international personal service. My issue is I can’t afford this having already paid thousands and this is the crucial part for me to prove service. I need to get through this hurdle so I can get divorced despite my sync attempts to sabotage via non-action. Would you be able to recommend an effective and reasonable priced one and I hope it won’t be too forward of me to ask my lawyer to use it. by reasonable price I don’t mind region of up to 200. I am trying to get divorced not bankrupt!
    I don’t even want to imagine what’s in store for me when it comes to financial settlements, (sigh).

  293. Luke says:

    “I don’t even want to imagine what’s in store for me when it comes to financial settlements, (sigh).”

    Well suki, if he is living in Germany and has blocked communication it doesn’t sound like he is trying to get any money out of you…

  294. Helen says:

    Hi Marilyn
    Very helpful site. I would like your advise on my current situation. I divorced my ex 10years ago however he has not let me live in peace till date. We have one 10yr old child so when divorce was completed ex asked for 10% of the sale of the property me and my child lives in. Its a full mortgage property. In our divorce settlement i didnt ask for a penny from ex as i just wanted to be free from his violent behaviour. So at the time i.e. 10yrs ago i agreed to give 10%. Conditions in place were…when i get married or when selling. In 2008 when i got married me and my solicitor at the time tried to contact him to sign the papers over and that we can give his 10%. But as the house prices were less and that the property was bought under full mortgage there was very little money as 10%. We tried to get the papers sorted for nearly a year and more and finally approached court. We submitted all documents to court including the 10% amount. Judge went through it and agreed and signed all papers on ex’s behalf. Once the property was transferred to my sole name i contacted my solicitor to pay the 10% to ex but my solicitor said he is ignoring us. Whenever he asks for it just pay the amount that was agreed by judge. Years went by now i paid so much of my savings into my mortgage n brought the mortgage down n also now the house prices have gone up…knowning this ex has filed D11 to court. What am i supposed to do??? Ex is very cunning and crooked. He is after money. He doesnt even pay any child maintenance. But i have not asked him anything as i dont want anything from him. He stole my jewellery n money n still has not given it back. Now he is after my property. I can give him the 10% valued in 2008 but not 2014. Please advise.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Helen
      It seems as though it was his fault he didnt accept the money. He should have taken it at the time. I think you only owe him the 10% which was payable at the time the property was transferred to you plus arguably interest although as it was his fault, you may not.
      You do need to see a solicitor however to assist you and advise you. My view is only based on what you write and you mustnt rely on it.

  295. Lisa says:

    My partner has been separated from his estranged wife for approx 6 years. Their previous family home haa been sold and they now own their own separate properties. Maintenance is paid for the children and regular contact established. They proceeded with divorce proceedings and a decree nisi was granted on 27/10/06, however was halted before the 6 weeks required waiting period. Nothing further was actioned. Petitioner (wife) made no further moves than that. Does my partner (respondent) have to start new proceedings or can he continue with that file? No financial dealings to be discussed, just that we will wish to be married at some point in the future, as their relationship ended long ago.

  296. WC says:

    How long can a petitioner delay application for a Decree Nisi?

    Can FDR go ahead before a Decree Nisi is granted?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear WC
      A respondent may apply for DA 12 weeks after the 6 week period is up. The procedure must be done on notice to the court and it’s up to the Judge to decide if DA will follow immediately.
      Finances are separate from divorce and and FDR may go ahead before DN. However an order will be made on DN and implemented on DA.

      • WK says:

        Dear Marilyn,

        Thank you for your prompt and informative reply.

        1. How is a consent order made at FDR if the DN has not been applied for? Are there any case precedents?

        2. If DN is applied for before FDR, the respondent will be able to issue the DA before final hearing that is scheduled some seven months after FDR. In a situation where the respondent has stated in a foreign court that the English DA will be challenged, will an English court take this as a valid reason to delay DA until after final hearing?



  297. Lucy says:

    Hi – my husband and I have recently got our DN – but I completed my Form E’s in September. he now says he has no more money for solicitors and doesn’t care about the form E’s and getting divorced. He says the most important stuff has happened now that custody of our children has been agreed. Can I get him to provide his form E? and anything else I should be aware of? I feel this could take months and months for him to agree to go any further.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Lucy
      You can write to the court and ask the Judge to attach a penal notice to the order. He can then get sent to prison for contempt of court if he doesn’t comply. That should do the trick.

      • Stitchedup says:

        ” He can then get sent to prison for contempt of court if he doesn’t comply. That should do the trick.”

        Yep, that’ll do the kids a world of good won’t it? most definitely in their interests to see their father go to prison…. dragging ones heels when in emotional turmoil is an horrendous offence.

        I wonder how often penal notices are attached to contact orders and how often women that breach those orders get sent to prison?? A man farts he gets sent to prison whereas women can literally get away with murder.

    • Lucy says:

      Sorry Marilyn, I’m not sure I’m following. What order are you referring to? is the decree nisi an order? Is there an obligation already legal expectation of my ex to complete the form E?
      I was under the impression he could take as long as he wanted until he was in a position to move forward . Is that not the case?
      many thanks for your reply 🙂

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        There is a directions order which is issued when a Form A is lodged with the court, which requires completion of the Form E it also directs the date for lodging the Form E etc etc.

  298. Dimitry says:

    I believe my ex-wife is sabotaging financial settlement, probably because she believes that I will give up and reunite with her or for other reasons. Decree Nisi was granted month ago, arrangements for children are to be solved in court (12 Nov is 1st hearing). She is verbally and physically agressive, almost every time we meet. Do I better obtain decree absolute as soon as I can?? What should I do then with financial settlement, bcs she ‘ll probably will stop cooperating all together and my only option will be to file with the court. I am paying mortgage on the house she lives in and mortgage is in my name only , and the house has massive equity. Kids 13 and 16.

  299. Amna says:

    hi Marilyn, hope you are well. I have applied for my decree absolute but the financial orders are not settled yet. I wish to remarry, can I legally remarry for some reason my solicitor is saying I cant remarry even after my DA had come through because finances have not been settled. thank you in advance

  300. Lorraine says:

    Dear Marilyn,
    I am trying to get my consent order passed by the court, but they have rejected it as they said the amounts are unfair. My ex agreeducation to me having a larger percentage of the sale of our family home, as he earns 3 times as much as me and had more pension than me. He did not want to pay any ongoing maintenance which my solicitor advised I would be eligible for as we had beer married for 27 years. We both agreed to the settlement so what can I do to get the jugde to authorise it. Neither of us want ongoing maintenance, myself especially, as my ex is a gambler so I would rather a lump sum now. Also the money from the house sale is still being held by the conveyancing solicitor since last september and I am getting desperate now. Is this a justifiable reason not to apply for the absolute yet, it was due on 7th January. I hope you can advise me and thank you for all the advice on this thread which I have read previously. It is so helpful and informative. Thank you. Regards Lorraine

  301. Jack D says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    My brother has a Decree Nisi (grounds unreasonable behaviour, he was the petitioner) and is very keen to divorce so he can remarry his new partner.

    He and his estranged wife already sold the matrimonial home and took a loss on it. As part of the maintenance he’s already voluntarily agreed, he’s paying the rent on a home for his wife and children, and has been doing so since before the application for divorce, with him living elsewhere.

    My brother’s only asset is his pensions.
    His wife’s solicitor is arguing that the wife will fight against decree absolute until financial order is made and my brother’s had to complete a Form E.

    He’s worried about the costs of dragging out financial disputes in the courts. He is also very concerned that there’s a threat to his being able to get his DA and remarry his current partner, which he’s very keen to do as soon as possible- his partner is very unhappy that he is still married!

    Can you advise? Can his current partner delay? He’s already offered half his pension in the Decree Petition paperwork.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Jack
      Please read the original post which sets out the legal position. Decree absolute should normally follow unless there is a good reason to prevent it. So unless there is a benefit lost on DA that cannot be made up on a financial settlement there shouldn’t be a problem.

  302. CD says:

    Hi, my husband is the petitioner for our divorce, we are in the process of mediation to agree a consent order, and he has applied for the directions to receive the decree nisi. However he is now stalling by not supplying documents to allow us to agree the consent order. I do not want us to be in a position where he can apply for the decree absolute before we have agreed the financials. How can I ensure he is unable to do so? Thanks. C

  303. RG says:


    Am looking for some hlep and guidance.

    My wife (her decision) and I split in May 2007. Nothing formal happened until Oct 2010 when decree Nisi was granted on basis off 2 years apart with consent. We have 3 children (1 now adult, 17 yrs & 15yrs)
    I remained in the marital home and am still there, it has negativity equity, mortgage paid on interest only basis.

    In the time since I have engaged legal help to get to a financial settlement in response to her starting proceedings. Process was extremely slow, we got to consent order eventually but she did not proceed.
    We have since been to a mediation assessment session, again she will not proceed.

    I have a very settlend (new) relationship with a new partner of more than 5 years. We want to marry.
    It is all very frustrating. My understanding is that my ex is entitled to a financial settlement based on my current assets, it just seems so wrong. I work hard and save towards a pension pot, I have pensions from the marriage which I am happy to share and a new pension started since the marriage ended yet she is still entitled to a share of this ! That just feels all wrong (not the case in Scotland)

    My ex works as a teacher, and has supported herself since she left and I have paid child maintainance since day 1. It seems/feels that periodically she takes a peak into my finances and decides if the time is right to seek a settlement. Unfortunately the law seems to reward this behaviour which feels both morally and ethically wrong surely we should start to timebound times for financial action ?

    In my case is my best option just to start ancillary relief and in your opinion will she:

    1) get a share of what is a new pension scheme
    2) likely to be awarded spousal maintenance even tho she clearly has a self supported life style greater than when we were together.

    From my side it feels like I am penalised for working hard and doing the right thing and I feel like becoming a drop out !

    • Luke says:

      “From my side it feels like I am penalised for working hard and doing the right thing and I feel like becoming a drop out !”
      “…(new) relationship with a new partner… We want to marry.”
      You don’t see an unacceptable risk here RG ? As a gender we can be very slow learners…

  304. Mark says:


    I’m the respondent our Nisi becomes final in early April, but now shes saying she wont file for the Absolut to make me wait a further 3 months – is there anyway I can shorten that period within the court, what options do I have please ? Help I just want this over 🙁

  305. liz says:


    My decree nisi has just been granted but we have not even begun to sort financial side how do I ask the Court to delay the abolute? Do I just write to them? Is there a standard format?

  306. Rhea says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    My husband and I got married in India (from where we belong originally) and our marriage was conducted and registered under Hindu Marriage Law. He has now applied for divorce in the UK under English Law since we both are now British citizens and residing in the UK for the last 10 years. We have been issued a Decree Nisi citing “the marriage has broken down irretrievably” but this is not a valid or recognised reason for divorce under Hindu Marriage Law.

    My queries are can I petition the court to revoke the decree nisi and/or transfer the case to a competent court which will conduct the case as per Hindu Law (since we got married under Hindu Law, I want the divorce as well to be under Hindu Law)? Is there any section under the Matrimonial Causes Act on which basis I can challenge the jurisdiction of the UK Court on religious ground? I looked at section 10A but it seems that is applicable only for Jewish religion.

    I did sign the “Acknowledge of Service” but at that time I was more scared than thoughtful since this was all new to me. Is there any way now I can challenge the jurisdiction of the UK Court to conduct the divorce and financial settlement proceedings on religious grounds please?

    I read a case study of “Saward vs. Saward” but your valuable thoughts will be helpful and much appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Rhea
      Thanks for your enquiry. The only legally recognised form of divorce in this country is via the English family courts. Religious divorces which can still take place must run in tandem with the legal process but are not recognised by the family courts as having legally dissolved the marriage. In some cases a religious divorce is required before Decree Absolute and a court may postpone a decree absolute until then.
      The only form of recognised financial Order is also only via the English family courts although there has been a case where a Jewish religious court in New York arbitrated a financial settlement which was then upheld by the English courts but only because the outcome was what an English court would have ordered.

  307. P says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    we were married in the USA in 2002, our daughter was born later that year. We both owned our own homes when we met, but as he job had moved to another part of the country on our return from the USA the company rented a home for us. after a year he persuaded me to sell my home as it was too small for a future family home – the profits went into the marriage (holiday, car, bills). In 2005 he left the marriage and rented home and returned to his house 250 miles away to be with his family from his previous family. I have not seen him once since then, he pays maintenance through CSA but has not seen our daughter since he left.
    I applied for a divorce in 2008 he returned the petition and then filed his own divorce proceedings.
    the decree nisi was granted on the same day in the same court for both cases in 2010. I applied to the court to put a stay on the absolute until financials have been agreed – the judge asked me to bring the two cases under one number – using my husbands case as the lead case and he granted an indefinite stay on the absolute.
    I have had no contact with my husband since.
    In May 2015 I asked him to consider a financial settlement as I was still in a rented house and could not get onto the property market until I had a large deposit funded by the divorce. He applied without my knowledge for the absolute. I was not informed he had applied. the circuit judge was given the two files only his file and was unaware that a stay on the DA was in place – she granted the DA. He has not communicated with me since.
    I have applied for an appeal to the DA as I feel he will make no financial settlement now he is ‘free’. he has refused to exchange financial information for years.
    today( 21.07.15) we both have to attend court for the appeal of the stay of DA. He is 22 yrs older than me and is now retired on a pension of over £50k pa. He has signed over part of his house to his older daughter in 2010.
    Do I have a legitimate claim on his house ( not our marital home as we went into rented at the start of the marriage as his job was moved) as it was an asset brought into the marriage. no pre-nups were signed.?
    Do I have any sort of claim on his pension? he was extremely ill in 2012 and became acutely aware that he was infact still married on paper.
    Does it matter who divorces who when the financials are being agreed? the judge that granted the stay in 2010 said it didn’t but I have felt aggrieved that it was me that commenced proceedings a year before my husband – but that his is now the lead case and he will be one divorcing me.
    I am not in any relationship – I know nothing of his life.

    Thankyou in advance for any advice.
    kind regards

  308. PA says:

    I am the respondent. Decree nisi was awarded october 14, the petitioner has also taken 85% of the equity of the house sale. Her solicitor has not engaged since march 15 with my solicitor. All my financial details are available but they refuse to share theres and refuse to acknowledge that she took all the furnishings and all my personal belongings. I have started from scratch and in a new relationship with a child. There are no children from the marriage with the petitioner. Would i be right to try and get there petition dismissed and mine lifted so that i can get the divorce resolved? I feel i have no control of the situation. My gut feeling is to apply D11 with a proposed consent order in one go hoping that a judge will make a decision. Any thoughts please? Thank you.

  309. Melissa says:

    Hello Marilyn I am at the stage of trying to get my Decree nisi. I doing it all myself and the judge keeps refusing my applications. this will be my second amendments made. The first grounds was adultery but because we live together for over 6 months it was turned down. I was advised unreasonable behaviour so I’ve now made those changes. I don’t know if using a solicitor will be quicker?

  310. Andrew says:

    Yet another case which proves that divorce should be by law as it is in fact an administrative matter. File the form; three months later file another saying “I mean it” – unless indeed in the meantime the spouse has filed one saying “Fine by me”, and in fact if the original form was signed by both there is no need for any delay – and pick up your divorce certificate.
    Melissa, good luck, and yes you will do better with a solicitor.

  311. Roy says:

    My wife is the petitioner in our divorce and, I have already received the decree nisi. The only finances that my ex is going after is my works pension. She is making demands that would mean she would have a bigger lump sum than myself and for monthly payments. Because of this we have not agreed to any financial settlement as I believe she is asking for far to much and it is just her being greedy. It has now got to the stage where my ex has said that she is going to now stop the divorce altogether because of me not agreeing to her demands.
    Can she stop the divorce based on the above?
    Would she have to make an order at the court to obtain a financial agreement for my pension?
    She has no solicitor acting on her behalf.

  312. E says:

    Hi Marilyn

    Please can I ask for some advice? My partner is in the process of divorcing his ex-wife. He left her, she applied for divorce citing his unreasonable behaviour.

    Their decree nisi was granted in February 2015.

    They are STILL trying to sort financials, she delayed matters for going on 12 months, citing depression and inability to visit the solicitor as she wasn’t in a strong enough frame of mind.

    For 18 months she has been living in the matrimonial home, for which my partner has been paying – mortgage, bills, everything. He is currently living with his mother. She destroyed all his belongings when he moved out and vandalised his car.

    They were only married for 3 years. She brought nothing financial to the marriage, only debts.

    The house is solely in his name and he owned it before he met her.

    There are no children in the marriage. He has 2 children from a previous relationship and she has 2 children also, one of whom used to live with them but is now an adult (21) and lives away from home at University.

    The current situation is with her solicitor – my partner has made her 2 financial offers and is awaiting a response. She is currently looking to obtain half the equity in the property, half of his shares and savings, half of his pension and is even seeking spousal maintenance.

    He earns a good wage, 6 figures and she is a part time worker in a supermarket. There is no reason for her to only work part time, she just refused to get a full time job when they were together.

    He is 45 she is 49.

    So, the first thing I would like advice on is how much do you think he is realistically expected to give her in a financial settlement? I know every case is different but an idea would be helpful.

    Also, it will be 12 months in February from decree nisi being granted – apparently at that stage they will have to explain to the court the reason for delay? Can her delaying tactics work in my partners favour? He has been advised by his solicitor not to apply for it (which I think he could have done after 3 months had passed) as they are still trying to sort financials.



  313. karima says:

    Iam a moroccan lady, iam going to marry a divorced British citizen, he sent me the Decree of absolute but moroccan judge said that he has to bring also a certified copy of judgement of divorce nisi,when he phoned the family court at Leicester they Said they didnot give such copy.
    What he can do to get this document?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Karima
      If he had a solicitor at the time, there will be a copy of the decree nisi on file. If he didnt have a solicitor, he should write to the court and explain what is required and ask for a copy of the decree nisi. It might help if you get a letter from the Moroccan Judge so he can explain why he needs it. There might be a fee payable, but its hard to understand why he cant get hold of a copy.

  314. Pavla says:


    I would like to ask some advice. My partner is in the process of divorcing his ex-wife. She has new partner too and she is 6 months pregnant with him. When they decided to divorce she accepted blame so devorce is in proceeding and now my partner got some paper and now he has to wait 6 week until to send them back so its mean not long until they will be at the end of all this. But his ex-wife called him and said it will be 2 years what they will be marriged and if they will cancel process then she doesnt have to accept the blame. My partner is not happy about that so he said to her he will finish it now. So he will send the paper after 6 weeks because he wants end everything with her. She told him then she will write letter to court she want to cancel devorce now. I would like to ask if is possible she could do it and cancel it when they are nearly at the end. Thank you very much for your answer Pavla

  315. S says:

    I separated from my wife in Oct 2013 and was the Respondent to a Divorce Petition which was granted Decree Nisi in July 2014. We eventually ended up on the Mediation wheel in August 2014 which finally concluded in Feb 2015. (wife cancelled appointments and then refused to commit to further appts etc etc)
    Having lowered my expectations considerably I basically accepted a 70-30 split of assets in her favour just to reach a conclusion. We have 3 children aged 19,16 and 11 and I understood that any financial settlement would always have there needs as the main consideration. The assets amount to approx £150,000 and consist mainly of the equity of our family home and a property in Turkey. The UK house sale was farcical. Having been valued at 309,000 my wife insisted on marketing at 329,000. Towards the end of Mediation she agreed to drop to 285,000. The Petitioner blocked viewings with all sorts of excuses (supported by Estate Agent) but shortly after the price drop I received an offer and the property was eventually sold in May 2015 to who is now regarded as her “partner” for £260,000. (I accepted to price reduction as I was in a corner having mortgage arrears and was paying for a 3 bed rental property for me and the kids as they stay 2 days a week) The Petitioner has NEVER left the matrimonial home and lives there now with her house buying partner and his son and our children.
    Having completed Mediation we agreed for the Petitioner to submit a Financial Consent Order based on the terms agreed and set out in writing by the Family Mediation Consortium. It came back with quite a few points that had not been agreed and we have gone back into the process of going back and forth disagreeing what are relatively minor points. After over 2 years I simply need to close the book on this chapter in my life and feel I can probably only do this via a Court Application.
    If I am going to take this step I feel I should re-address the financial situation as I only accepted the short end of the wedge to get a conclusion and whilst I suspected my wife had been having an affair prior to the divorce proceedings I had nothing to prove it and in fact the grounds for divorce were based on my behaviour!! I have represented myself since Mediation began and have continued to do so during the Financial Order process. Can I make a court application for a Financial Order to be agreed or do I need to have attended a Mediation (M.I.A.M) 4 months prior? If I do proceed to court I assume we are expected to submit financial information, do I need to request this from my ex-wife (Petitioner) prior to the court or will the court demand this to be presented during the hearing..
    Any other advice would be appreciated.

  316. Sonja says:

    My husband petitioned the divorce and Decree Absolute was granted without finances been resolved. I still live in the matrimonial home with our daughter and he just pays the mortgage which is in his sole name. I had put a restriction to the home under the family law act. After DA THIS RESTRICTION is cancelled because we are no longer technically married. I have called for mediation and waiting for his intake. He seems to be taking his time but I’m afraid he may try to remortgage the house or any other of his two properties before any negotiations. I am panicking because my lawyer got me to sign the Acknowledgement form back in June, but she never explained that after DA I would lose the restriction on the matrimonial home. I opened a complaint to my lawyer who charged me lots of money chasing my ex husband’s solicitor’s when she should be doing work to delay DA. While waiting for mediation I’m confused and don’t know where to turn for advise that makes sense. Your ideas will be very much appreciated. I know I would still be entitled 50% after DA but what if he hides money away or even remortgages our home before we get to mediation? Thank you

  317. Sue Reid says:

    Hello Marilyn,

    My question concerns applying to the court to ask for a delay in applying for th Decree Absolute due to complications regarding the financial settlement. My soon to be ex husband and I attend d mediation and reached agreement as to finances and pension split. I then moved to France to live. The Decree Nisi was granted in May 2015. I beget to search for financial advice about my future financial arrangements, given that I am now living in, and am tax-resident in France. The Financial Order and application for a Decree Absolute require me to state what should happen to my share of the pension-split post divorce. I have not yet completed this process and it may take longer than the final date for applying for the .decree Absolute (June 17th 2016).

    Can you please advise what I should do? Can I apply to the court for an extension of time? Both my ex-husband and I are still in agreement, and want to do this clean break properly. Because he was a solicitor before our divorce we are not using solicitors ourselves.

    Hope you can give me a pointer here as I’m worrying about whether the court could make us start again from scratch!!

    PS. I found your book a godsend!

  318. Kristy says:

    My ex sent nisci which I agreed last year april2015
    He immediately filed for a absolute. No financials had been sorted, I paid for my own solicitor and had my legal docs forme etc set up April 2015, but he never submitted his forme. In Aug 2015 I was rushed into hospital and diagnosed with aggressive ms, my world fell apart, I can’t wait work and currently on work disability cover and pip, we had a matrimonial house in France and he agreed to set up a house in the U.K. Where he pays for the mortgage and council house . When I first moved in I had no job , the house need full renovation, which I used all my savings and when I started to work, I have been paying in tithe house to make it habitable , that was dec2012 I moved in. He is on 60,000 tax free a year and annual bonus, 6 months of the year he is a staff captain on a cruise ship so no outgoings , except for the mortgages on my house and the French home. He had a massive private pension and Dutch state pension. I have none.
    I really don’t know what to do, I can’t believe they allow and absolute without sorting finances, I’m sure he’s moved most of his funds to hide them and don’t know what to do

  319. Luke says:

    I am very sorry that you have MS, that is truly terrible, I hope the new research into MS turns into treatments that will benefit you.
    This of course is not your ex-husband’s fault, it’s great that he is paying your mortgage but unless you have children I am unclear as to what more you are reasonably expecting from him.

    • Kristy says:

      I guess all I want is for everything to be finished. With no end to what will happen to my house and no resolution , I can’t move on, if I become severally ill and can’t use stairs anymore I won’t be able to live in the house I am in . Carers are not cheap and I would like to survive and not be constantly worried I will lose my home and lose the place I live in, so what do I expect, I don’t expect anything , just closure and to finally know where I stand, if I can stand on my own with what I’m entitled too.quite a patronising comment to what Asking, which is resolution., I don’t want to be critically ill, I’d rather be at work and know what I can do to secure my future, now everything in my life is unknown. The finances not sorted out complete the fact everything is unknown, the stress of living like this is unbearable. If anyone wants to swap there life for mine it would be great. But what do I want.?. Not to worry about having no control over anything at present, my illness, my life and security over my home, or at least a place I can call home. I need closure not patronising comments that I am some sort of scrounger. I have never been one and I have always been independent. My future is less clear and a scary place right now.

      • Luke says:

        Kristy, I wasn’t patronising you, I thought the question was a genuine and reasonable one – anyway, I do hope you go into remission and I wish you well.
        There is a lot going on with MS – e.g. :-
        Hopefully a new treatment will become available that will help your specific issues.

        • Kristy says:

          Thank you
          The stem cell research is interesting, only 50%
          Success after some heavy chemo and some patients reversed there wellness after a year. So results to early to tell.

  320. Louise says:

    My husband will not agree to financials and will not attend mediation. My absolute could have been applied for a month ago so I suspect he is stalling and asking for unreasonable amounts in the financial settlement. I am divorcing him for unreasonable behaviour. Could I still apply for my absolute even though the financials haven’t been agreed? There are no savings, just his pension to argue over and I don’t want a penny from him just freedom. What risks are there if I get the absolute before agreeing financials?

  321. Elizabeth says:

    Hello Marilyn
    My ex husband removed money from a pension that had a pension sharing order against it but before the decree absolute was granted. He insists that he could do this because the absolute had not yet been issued.
    This means that I will not get a percentage of the money that he has removed.
    Is he correct that he could do this?

  322. David says:

    Hopefully an easy one RE application for absolute.

    My wife (applicant) started the process about 20 no tha ago for divorce. I completed my form E 18 no the ago and lodged with my solicitor, there is a sizeable pension to be dealt with. The nisi was issued July 2015 and the family home sold December 2015. The proceeds sit with my solicitor.

    It appears the ex is refusing to submit full financial for the form E, despite regular requests from solicitors in both sides.

    If I can show that repeated requests have been made CIA solicitors for the required judo to complete the financial settlement would the court consider issuing the absolute ?

    There are 2 kids under 11 and I am paying child maintenance via the former csa..

    In a few months we will have been separated for 5 years…

  323. Stephen says:

    I am the petitioner in my divorce I was granted a decree nisi over 6months ago, I offered my ex wife what was called a very generous settlement which she accepted on legal advise this was tweaked slightly, my wife and her solicitor have made no communication for months now and has failed to provide full and frank disclosure on her assets, am I able to apply to the courts for my decree absolute and also enclose a covering letter describing my wifes failure to communicate and either obtain my decree absolute or have a judge order my wife to respond within certain time scales

    any advise appreciated

  324. Marcus says:

    Hi. We have been down all the channels. .mediation etc for financial settlement. Waitibg for absolute.l I have her proposal and have agreed signed and sent back to hrr solicitors. . Been waiting for 3 nearly 4 mths for next step. Her solicitor does not respond to any letter’s from mine. What can be done

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Marcus
      Was there an agreement not to apply for Decree Absolute pending resolution? If you are the Respondent and more than 18weeks Ince Decree Nisi you can give notice to her solicitors you are applying and then do it.
      Solicitors don’t not reply, if they have instructions. It takes a client to give instructions so if you are hearing nothing I assume it’s coming from your ex.
      At the same time as you tell them you’re going forward you can advise you are going to ask the court to make the proposal into an order given she’s proposed it and you’ve accepted it.
      Go and see a solicitor to draft it all up if you haven’t got one. Or you can go the gov website for further information how to apply for decree absolute, but personally I think you should apply for both at once so it’s all sorted.

  325. Dewitt says:

    I can’t believe the amount of professionals and supposed SEO
    masters who are actually useless
    Will surely be returning, ’tis a nice blog


    may I please have the citations of the cases you dealt with where parties went back on divorce before it was finalised

  327. B says:

    Hi Marilyn, I’m contacting you regarding my soon to be mother-in-laws divorce settlement. She was divorced in 2011 and after reading through the correspondence and notes etc I can only say the judge was hugely bias towards her husband. He lied and hid things for as long as possible until found out, gave false estimates for his properties and hugely over-estimated the value of the family home to make himself look like a victim. Anyway, nothing we can do now other than move on. However, I have noticed that 2 properties should have been transferred – one into her name from him, and one into his name from her. This has not been done and he has been collecting rent on these properties for 5 years. My mother-in-law tells me she asked him to do this soon after the divorce but he refused. As he is physically and mentally abusive she left it alone, but now is nearing retirement with grand kids etc and needs that extra money from this property sale. Can she legally sell the house that is still registered in her name? what advice can you give please?
    thank you

  328. Sarah H says:

    My decree absolute was granted in January of this year prior to any financial settlement being even discussed – my ex husband had many times delayed completing form E which meant I had to do this several times over to be in the same time frame. I wanted the decree absolute but my solicitor advised me that should I proceed to decree absolute with no objections from the other party (there were none) that I would effectively forfeit any claim on his pension and vice versa for him. Is this true as we have now finally had the FDA last week with exchange of form E and in this he is requesting a pension sharing order – I don’t understand the request given my own earlier advice and at present I am unable to afford to re-instruct my solicitor until closer to the FDR meeting in October probably.

  329. Francesca Morgan says:


    My brother got divorced earlier this year and the divorce settlement was agreed in court over 3 appearances, he has now been sent a letter from the court as his ex wife is taking him back to get the settlement ammended, they have no children so this is just financial. Part of the settlment was the license to a bar he runs in Greece 8 months of the year, he then lives in the uk for the remaining months, she has just found out is worthless as he rents the premises from the landlord so all fixtures and fittings belong to him, so she now thinks the settlement was not enough, she also wants him away from the island as she holidays there a few times a year since they’d got together. He has nothing to give her, he rents when he’s in Greece and stays with our mum when he’s home, can you give him some advice please?

  330. Pen says:

    Hello Marilyn
    Just after a bit of help to put my mind at rest really. My partner is currently waiting for his DN, the petition took some work as they were married in philipines and upon applying for a copy of the marriage certificate we discovered the marriage is bigamous under philipine law, obviously for a marriage to be legal in the uk it has to be legal in the country it was performed. But upon speaking to philipine specialist lawyers we discover that as my partner is uk born and bred, all he needs is a U.K. DA to dissolve the marriage on his part (if he doesn’t want to have her deported and delt with under philipine law) it’s a nasty complicated drawn out expensive business that will land her in a phili jail for 12 yrs. anyway after he gets DA the rest (in philipines) is her problem to deal with. Anyway we had to send the court correspondence from Philis to explain why we couldn’t get marriage cert, finally in April they issued the petition to her on grounds of unreasonable behaviour (all points being completely true and trying not to provoke). She refused to sign so we had her served by a court bailiff. We had a bailiff stamp for date of service and we used that paperwork to apply for DN, a week after posting it to court we were sent her acknowledgement of service, looks like a 10 yr old wrote on it. She put a different date of service to the bailiff and said she doesn’t want to defend but she doesn’t agree to reasons and she won’t pay (he hasn’t asked her to). All finances are sorted as he left her everything and wants nothing, maintenance is sorted through csa and access for his children is all sorted. The paperwork has been going through our local court then to her local court then back again before it reaches us. We applied for the nisi at beginning of August but it still hasn’t arrived. My question is: is it normal to take so long and does he have anything to worry about?
    I completed my own divorce in June, I started proceedings in February, the same time as my partner as we are planning on getting married this coming June. I have done all paperwork myself after 9 months of research and meetings with 3 different types of legal advice (solicitor/laywer/barrister).
    Anyway any advice is greatly appreciated
    Many thanks

  331. Kirsty says:


    I am at the decree nissi point in the ending of my marriage and the respondent. I have been living with my new partner with the children for about a year now. I am wanting to the get the decree absolute through but the petitioner is saying he wants to delay until the Consent order is through. I have said this doesn’t make any difference but he is not moving. So I am thinking of applying for it myself as we are past the time scale of waiting.

    I am wanting to buy a property with my new partner and was hoping that the decree absolute and a solicitors will (or something like this) would stop any potential claim on the new property?

    In terms of the financial consent order. Originally we were posted abroad in married quarters and I chose to stay abroad with my new partner. I kept the white goods and some garden furniture (all other furniture was provided and our possessions were in storage). He also kept the car as I could not afford to pay the duty. I have now moved back to the UK and looked to buy a property with my new partner as mentioned. My ex-husband bought a house while we were engaged and the deeds are all in his name. Although I earned at the time I have no direct proof that I contributed to the house in any way and when the time came to remortgage I was again refused to be put on the deeds. I did put life savings as well as earnings into the house and stayed at home to raise two children, he also has all the furniture and house possessions. Currently we have been trying to work it out cordially and I have asked for 30% of total assets (which includes some savings I have in my name) but I have excluded his pension and endowment. I do not want to make him leave the family home and I am not money grabbing but I think what I have asked for is fair. But everything in the consent order I have drafted he is saying that everything is his and what he is giving me he doesn’t have to and pretty much is because he is wonderful and generous. We had initially agreed £500 maintenance which is slightly more than the calculator but he is no dropping it to the calculator value and saying that he now has no endowment and his assets are changed.

    Basically I am worried that he is changing things to make it look like he should give me a lot less and that he would have a claim over any house that I currently buy with my new partner even though the debt would actually be higher than the assets. Can you ask for the consent order to be as the financial status was when separated?

    • Roy says:

      Hi Kirsty

      I wouls suggest you engage a solicitor right now and ask for Form E declaration. SOunds ot me like he is buying time to dispose of assets.

      Am no expert but think house ownership is irrelevant, you were married living in the marital home. Bringing up children is contribution enough.

      • Kirsty says:

        Thanks Roy,

        One of my main concerns is that he would have a future claim on the house I am looking to buy now with my partner. I am trying to get the decree absolute through as I was hoping that would at least help matters but it is looking more and more the case that he could still have a claim on the house so my partner is obviously worried he would have a claim and not wanting to buy. I am trying to look for an option that would protect any claims here whilst the clean break comes through. If there are any.

  332. Felicity says:

    My partner (respondent) has been going through a horrible divorce for 5 years (come Jan 17). He received the Nisi over 2 years ago (Nov 14), but the ex (petitioner) wouldn’t negotiate a settlement or apply for the absolute. His solicitor says for him to apply for the absolute (in Northern Ireland) he will have to ask leave of the judge to do so, which will cost him, and he will not have any guarantee his application will be granted: She is using the spouse’s death benefit of his pension to hold everything up. They finally came to a lump sum figure 3 days ago, but she wants the money immediately (within a week) before she will sign and once ‘paid’ will apply for absolute. At what point can a petitioner hold a respondent to ransom (both for Absolute and settlement) before he can get the absolute without having to pay £0000’s to the court?

  333. Name WItheld says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    Thanks for this informative site.
    After more than a year of marriage and two years of being together, my wife filed for divorce claiming ‘unreasonable behaviour and assault’. These allegations are absolutely false.
    I am trying to gain time to make sure she has the chance to rethink, so I responded to her petition refusing the allegations and ticked the box that I was willing to defend. Now I am considering my options. I did not assign any solicitor and may be I will not. I read a lot in this site and in others. All tell that it is expensive to defend:
    1) Is it still expensive if I defend directly without assigning any solicitor?
    2) Is there anyway to stop the divorce? If not then what is the rationale behind giving the option to defend? Who would go to defend if it is both expensive and useless?

  334. A says:

    My parents were married in Sri Lanka in 1984 and father eloped with an another woman to UK in 1986. My mom claimed a divorce and got a order Nisi. She never bothered to apply for order/decree absolute. Then 1986 my father re married in UK and my mother died in 1987. My father died in 2013 without leaving a will. My step mother says that she is the wife and she took all the money from my dad’s bank accounts and she keeps the house in UK which was registered to My late father and step mother. Is her marriage valid without my mom’s divorce been absolute ? And if it is valid or not will I have any share of my late father’s estate in UK? I am 32 now

  335. Andrew says:

    It is possible that your father got the decree absolute. It is also possible that he married your step-mother again after your mother died; he could do that without telling you.

    If either of those things happened the marriage is valid and on intestacy your step-mother takes all – you would have to seek relief under the Family Provision Act and time for that runs out six months after the grant of administration, which I would imagine has now happened. The time can be extended but it is rarely done. Frankly, if there was a valid marriage I do not think you have a chance.

    If not: you have a claim for a share but you need legal advice on running it. It won’t be easy.

    But your first step is to check the registers of decrees absolute and of marriages.

  336. J says:

    Hi please would you advise. I am at my wits end, attempted suicide in December currently on medication all due to stress of divorce. Filed for divorce in 2011, after 10 year marriage. Prior to 2011 ex be in and out of lives. As and when he required. Throughout marriage ex refused contribute towards bills mortgage child support. Basically the FMH is in joint names valued £110,000. There is £35,576 left on the mortgage, debts accrued throughout the marriage is (£37,000) soley due to him not contributing financially. However, I have been paying this via debt management plan for last 3 years. Ex owes £5,000 maintenance under old CSA system. Also £4,200 under new CMS system, Our son is 18 years old and in full time education. I have residency of my grand daughter who is 13 years old. Ex is self employed and refused to disclose is financial income/expenditure and is demanding £10,000 settlement from me. What I cannot understand is solicitor has advised me to agree paying this on sale of the house when grand daughter reaches 18 years. On reading your blog I think this called a Mesher Order. I have requested I pay all debts and mortgage, from 50/50 for child maintenance to be incorporated into settle with consideration of future payments £65 week 19 months until son finishes education. This leaves around £3000 each. This is not taking into account I inherited £20,000 which invested in house and to accommodate my nieces due to death of there mum. This settlement doesnt take into consideration the FMH was social housing property of which I was tenant, under right to buy I received 15% discount. However, solicitor advised I agree pay him £10,000. I am destitute living day to day with no hot water or heating. Ex earns over £2500 and I earn £2000 with 2 dependents. I can prove were he sub contracts. Basically how can a settlement be agreed when 1. full disclosure of ex finances have not been submitted. More importantly its clearly evident I have nothing and when I am 55 years I will be homeless and broke. Under this advise/agreement my ex walks away ”scott free” and has has not contributed anything throughout the marriage. I really do not understand. This man throughout marriage engaged in drink and drugs, terrorized both myself and child. Please please advise. FDR is in 3 weeks.

  337. lisa says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    Gone through divorce process with the decree nisi being 13th dec so I could apply for absolut from about the 25th Jan. I had heard nothing from solicitor so rang him on the 15th feb. He said he had just received the financial order and would now apply for absolut. On the 19th feb my ex rang to inform me he had a letter and from reading it it would seem it is the absolut. It says ‘ Referring to the decree int he cause on 13th dec 16 whereby it was decreed that the marriage solemnised on…….between…. to be dissolved unless sufficient cause be shown to the court within 6 weeks from the making thereof why the said decree should not be made absolut and not such cause having been shown it is hereby certified that the said decree was on 17th feb 17 made final and absolut and that the said marriage was thereby dissolved’
    Am I right thinking this is saying it is absolut? Could my solicitor have turned it around that quick? My ex does not have a solicitor and I am the petitioner.

    Also I would just like your thoughts on cost. My ex hasn’t had a solicitor and it has been very straight forward other than him not filling in one form correctly. Process started Feb/March and I was told it could all be done by October and cost about £2000 tops but we have only just got to this point so near on a year. Ex has not questioned anything. agreed to terms, no back and forth. Cost has now come to approx £3300 which I feel is excessive when I read of others straightforward divorces. What do you think and if it is what can I do?
    Yoiur advice is appreciated. Thanks Lisa

    • Andrew says:

      That is indeed the absolute. Congratulations. You should get a copy from your solicitor. Or your ex might send you one!

      I will never comment on another solicito’s fees.

  338. Sharon ogden says:

    I got decree nisi in 2011 and my husband has applied for this to be made absolute so he can remarry. However the financial side has not been sorted and hes declared himself bankrupt on 9 Dec 2016, so the final hearing is now delayed.

  339. Nitanoodle says:

    Good afternoon Marilyn,

    I wonder if I might ask your advice with regard to the following: Decree Nisi applied for by my wife under grounds of unreasonable behaviour which I have not agreed & have put this on the form I sent back to the court but I am not going to defend due to costs. My wife & I agreed to keep our respective pensions as we earn similar amounts & have no children together (I have a son from my previous marriage) and split all marital assets 50/50 with me keeping the MH. My wife is living with the man she left me for & has since changed her mind regarding everything. Form E exchanged & the disparity in our pensions is £35k in my favour. I have offered her £10k to resolve this issue & she has refused. She is also asking for all monies she contributed to the marital home be repaid to her although this was around 30k & I had an inheritance of £20k which I contributed to the marital pot. She is acting for herself & is well aware each letter she sends costs me money so I believe she is just disputing everything just to cost me money. I don’t want to go to court & I’ve been advised she won’t get much more than my offer, if anything at all but I’m stuck knowing what to do for the best. I would so much appreciate your advice on how to proceed.
    Kindest regards

  340. Nitanoodle says:

    Sorry Marilyn, I forgot to mention my wife is 43 & I am 50 & a serving police officer. She has 24 ish years left to work & continue to build her pension up. I retire in just under 5 as am officer at my current pension level & am front line.


  341. patrick says:

    Hi, I am currently being divorced the UK by my wife who lives in the Irish republic.
    I came to the UK for work and have a property in London. This is an obvious case of Divorce tourism!
    I wanted to have the divorce in Ireland as I have no rights with regard to the children with a UK divorce and the UK courts have no derestriction to the matrimonial home in Ireland. The move was made specifically to stop me having a relationship with my children as there is no way to afford to fight on two fronts. I am committed to returning to Ireland to be close to the children as that is what they have asked for as well.
    Is there any way to stop the divorce here as it clearly defeats my right to an Irish divorce?
    , my solicitor says no, and adds that the London courts are full of divorce tourists( most are wealthy my total assets are 210k including the pension this could easily be spent if I contest.

  342. Clemencia Ricardi says:

    Good article , thanks and we wish more! Added to FeedBurner as effectively

  343. j says:

    Dear Merilyn
    Hi.I was wondering if you can advice me.I was the petitioner in divorce proceeding due to adultry of my husband with a man but I applied under unreasonable behaviour after 16 years marriage.we have no children.He didn’t defend the petition and decree nisi granted to me after 12 weeks in April 2016.He tried to reunited while he employed his lover as his practice manager and playing game to come back to family home and put me in the position which ended up[ with violence and had to get injunction order.he is a dentist and makes a lot of money but hasn’t disclosed his cash and manipulated his accounts and his practice share over the last 12 months before he applied for financial order which I regret it now that I should have applied straight away after decree nisi. Now we have gone through FDA,FDR,PTR and prepared for trial in 2 days but even the Judge said there is no such reason for departure from equity his barrister and lawyer came with a proposal in his favour.I had solicitor for FDA but he didn’t act and didn’t give me proper advice.I went on my own to FDR and then i had a barrister in PTR and Trial but he told me if i dont agree with his proposal i may get nothing or very less so somehow i was pushed to sign the consent order in front of judge without been able to read all the details.Bearing in mind i have been on sick leave for 7 months and on half pay for 2 months now and spent a lot on the family home for the last 3 years on maintenance .I noticed that this has not been taken into account at all.Now the order was to sell the family home subject to decree absolute bit there was undertaking issues in relation to religious marriage overseas .there is also a joint rental property involved which he has been receiving all the rental income over the 16 years of marriage and recently lat year rental income been hold by estate agent when they found out about my ownership but the direction in consent order said that the rental income is his property and he can jeep the sale arising from that property providing release me from mortgage.
    Now i am confused and i told my barrister the following day after the court that i didn’t see all details and not happy about it but he said the judge has already seen the draft before accepting it an ask me to send the DA straight away.I am worried if i do this then he wouldn’t comply with court order as he has already were looking for buying practice abroad and his practice not been included in the financial order at all.Can I ask the judge to change the order or what would be best for me.A,m I in the position to delay this or not?
    Looking forward to hearing from you and thank you for your kind help in advance.

  344. Bells says:

    I’ve received my decree nisi but, my husband and I have been having an intimate relationship for nearly a year, he feels trapped in a new relationship due to financial commitments, is this grounds on the now refuse to proceed to an absolute?

  345. Bells says:

    In addition to my earlier comment, I should point out that, finances are not settled. He wants cash from me but legally I’m entitled to money from him and I plan to walk away with neither party giving anything to the other. I also have a son from a previous partner who has not contact with my son and my son has only ever known my current husband as a Dad (albeit not adopted). Does this mean he is should be named as child of the family?

    • Kate Nestor says:

      Thank you for your comment. To start with I would recommend giving our Client Care Team a call on 0330 404 2912 or email at [email protected] and they will be able to help you and point you in the right direction for advice. Thanks again.

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