Applying for the Decree Absolute and what comes next

Family Law | 30 Jul 2012 465

Stowe Services

I receive a massive number of comments on this blog concerning the decree absolute. It seems to be the one stage of the divorce process that causes most confusion, and so I thought it time to look at it in a little more detail and consider the important steps to take once it has been granted. Just this weekend a further example of the queries we’ve so far received was submitted:

I have been going through a divorce in the last two years and now seem to be at a dead end. I was at the last stages in October last year to receive the decree absolute but had to disclose financial matters before the divorce was ended. I have waited and waited and never get a reply from my wife’s solicitor.
My question is can I get divorced now without sorting out the financial matters and if so how? The second question is can I force the divorce to go ahead? Regards, Steve.

So 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.

Applying for the decree absolute and what to consider

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. 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 himself 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.

A Respondent to the divorce is not treated the same as the Petitioner. A Respondent, such as Steve, may make an application for the decree absolute if the Petitioner fails or refuses to do so, but only after a further three months has elapsed from the earliest date the Petitioner could have applied. Steve can do this by issuing an application to the court, which will hear the application and make the decision. It is not automatically granted by simply lodging a straightforward notice to the court, as it would be if the Petitioner is applying.

A Respondent should also note that if remarriage occurs without having issued a financial application in the divorce proceedings, his or her entitlement to a financial settlement may have gone. So don’t remarry without having checked your legal position.

Sometimes more than a year has passed since the decree nisi. In that case, the process is slightly different and it is necessary to explain to the court why such a length of time has elapsed and in particular whether the parties have resumed cohabitation or there has been a child born. It is rare for the court to require a hearing but when circumstances are unusual it may. Further practical advice on all these matters is available at the DirectGov website.

In most cases 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 final orderly step to 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 in which –exceptionally – the mandatory period was shortened.

Conversely, where perhaps a religious divorce is required, or more commonly a financial settlement is still being negotiated, there may be good reason to delay the granting of a decree absolute. And it is this concern, whether or not to proceed to decree absolute when financial elements have yet to be agreed, that has occasioned the majority of the requests for advice to my blog.

Sometimes the parties agree at the outset that neither of them will apply for decree absolute until all the issues between them are resolved. Some parties don’t or won’t, and so an application to hold-off on the decree absolute may be required.

If for example a religious divorce is still required, the decree absolute can be postponed indefinitely by the court so that the parties are not simultaneously married in one sense and divorced in the other.

As regards finances, in most instances having a decree absolute does not affect a financial settlement, so it should not delay the divorce. One is not usually interdependent on the other. In fact, a financial settlement once ordered cannot legally be implemented without a decree absolute. So for most of my correspondents there is no reason at all to wait for financial proceedings to conclude before applying for decree absolute.

However, I would suggest it is always wise to check first with a lawyer before taking that final step.

For example it may be inadvisable in some cases to proceed to decree absolute if a financial settlement has not yet been obtained, since if one of the parties dies before a financial order has been made  the surviving spouse will lose out on any automatic spousal benefits that would have been paid. Thus, if the couple are still married and one dies, the survivor is still a widow/widower and therefore entitled to spousal benefits regardless of whether they were happily married. The chances of this happening are unlikely, in fact I can recall only three deaths prior to decree absolute in my entire career. But when it happened, I breathed a huge sigh of relief because the client was still entitled to those spousal pension benefits. In one such case, my client had been separated from her husband, and obtained her decree nisi of divorce. Her husband had been violent to her and had been ordered by the court to move out of the family home. When he died in a road accident prior to decree absolute it was she as his spouse who received his substantial death benefits. However, some people may take the view that this is so unlikely, or the amount that might be payable so small, that it shouldn’t hold up decree absolute.

In more complicated cases however, e.g. involving onshore or offshore trusts or company assets, proceeding to the decree absolute before the financial order is made may seriously affect the outcome, as assets may no longer be available for transfer to a divorced spouse. (See the recent case of E-v-E (2012) CA. In this case the wife was appealing a financial order and her legal team in America had written to say that if she first had decree absolute her position would be prejudiced. Accordingly she obtained a stay of her decree absolute)

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.

Again, because this is a potential minefield it is wise to take legal advice before applying for a decree absolute. Don’t guess or assume. Similarly, don’t assume you can’t apply for decree absolute either, whether Petitioner or Respondent, as a financial settlement does not have to be in place before decree absolute.

Whenever you finally receive your final decree, do remember to keep a note of your court number and the certificate of decree absolute in a safe place – if you remarry, you will need to produce the original copy. If you lose it, you can obtain a further copy from the court where the divorce took place by quoting the court number or from. If you don’t remember the court, the Principal Registry of the Family Division can undertake the same exercise.

And there still remain a number of practical and emotional matters for you to consider. They are as follows:

A checklist once decree absolute is granted

1. Have you informed your children’s schools that the divorce has been finalised? Schools should be kept up-to-date so that they can monitor your children and give them extra care and support, if necessary.

2. Have you changed your will? Your old will should be changed if it makes reference to a former spouse, although any bequest to a former spouse will now automatically fail unless the will makes it clear the provision is to last post decree absolute. Please also remember that if you remarry, any will made before remarriage will be invalid.

3. Have you applied for a new passport, bearing your new details? Visit the Gov website for further information.

4. Have you informed your mortgage lender of any changed details or relevant developments?

5. Have you closed any joint bank accounts, as per the court order?

6. Have you changed the personal contact details on any remaining bank accounts and credit cards? Some banks will allow you to do this over the telephone; others will insist on a face-to-face meeting and supporting documentation such as your decree absolute and utilities bills.

7. Have you applied for a new driver’s licence, bearing your new details? Visit for further information. Failure to do this could result in a fine.

8. Have you updated the details on any relevant insurance policies?

9. Have you notified Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs of your new situation and contact details? Visit for further information.

10. Have you updated the relevant details on telephone and utilities bills? These could range from changed correspondence details to new friends and family numbers.

11. Where applicable: have you visited your local benefits office, to discover what you may now be entitled to claim? Visit for further information.

12. Have you signed the necessary forms to resign from any business assets in which you previously had an interest?

Above all, take things day by day, step by step. Now it is time for you to rebuild your life…

For more information read our helpful divorce guides or take a look at one of the most famous cases on this topic – Delaying the Decree Absolute: another look at Miller Smith v Miller Smith.

The founder of Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers. She retired from Stowe Family Law in 2017.

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    1. David Harvey says:

      I have today recieved my decree absolute. Why is there to be a decree absolute hearing in two weeks time? DFH

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Er…..was somebody delaying? Did the respondent apply for a hearing to obtain decree absolute which has now become unnecessary because the petitioner has in the meantime applied and obtained decree absolute?
        I would suggest you contact your solicitor/her solicitor or the court to check and ask the court to vacate the hearing. There may still be a costs issue.

        • S says:

          My divorce is going for more than 2 years. My ex has been extremely painful person trying to delay things as much as he can.
          Finally in December through mediation a mandatory was done. So everything has been agreed. The consent order needs to be drafted. My ex is telling me for last 4 weeks that his lawyer is drafting it. I still haven’t received that order to sign. Please help me to guide, does consent order takes so long to draft or is he again not telling me the truth. I m exhausted by this as my case was domestic violence. Me and my new partner would like to marry in August. Do you think I should take decree absolute?

          • Cameron Paterson says:

            Hello and thanks for your message. We may be able to get some advice for you. If you could let us know roughly where you live, we will ask a solicitor from our nearest office to get in touch with some thoughts

      • Ludmila says:

        Hi Marilyn, Please can I ask you for some advice?
        My husband ask for divorce behind my back. I never have working,so i have not money. We have a kid 6 years old. Now we have a divorce nisi he ask for divorce absolute. He not giving me anything. I find solicitor very expensive for me,because i have not any money. What to do?
        Best wishes

    2. Nick Allen says:

      Please help with some of your wonderful advice – very impressed with the info here.
      I have been living apart from my ex wife (soon to be) for 15 years this December. I met my new partner 12 years ago and live with her in N.Wales. I got a legal separation in July (Consent Order) and all our financials have been resolved.
      My partner is a very spiritual person and a lot of that has rubbed off on me, so much so that we wish to marry on 12-12-12 at 12.12pm
      I set the ball rolling on 24/9/12 and tonight go and collect the Acknowledgement of Service papers and will deliver that to Wrexham Law Courts in the morning (Tue 16th Oct)
      The Church is booked (yes I know I’m crazy) and the bands must be read Sun 18th, Sun 25th Nov and Sun 2nd Dec – so I need the Decree Absolute by Fri 16th Nov (4 weeks from tomorrow approx)
      Now I know that in extreme circumstances I may be able to apply to ‘abridge time’ pointing out that
      * I have lived apart from my wife for 15 years
      * We have a Consent Order in place covering our financials
      * My ex spouse has been very helpful in matters concerned
      What would you recommend I do to try win the judge over so that our wish to get married on 12-12-12 actually materialises
      Your help is most appreciated
      Best regards
      Nick Allen

    3. Kayleen says:

      Hi Marilyn, Please help me. I am at the stage now where I can apply for Decree Absolute. However financial order is not yet done, and my solicitor seem not sure what to do. I’ve been to CAB and they can’t help me. I’m just told I’m in a very complicated situation. I’ve been to mediation and done a fully and frank disclosure with my ex. We have 2 properties between us. He has debts attached to one of the property. Long story short, there is really no asset to share. There is a debt in excess of £60k. Of this amount joint debt is £32000. Of the joint debts £30000 is secured (a second mortgage) against the matrimonial home but there is not enough equity in the property to clear it. When the house is sold it will just about clear the main mortgage. I do not have savings he made sure of that. Also I’m hoping I can move to other property with my child who is under 16yrs. What can I do to sort this all out as at the moment he is living with no care in the world not much support with the mortgage. Threatening bankruptcy. My problem is, bankruptcy is not an option as I work in finance/have a career in finance. Even if both properties are sold there’ll still be debt. Help me please. Thanks in advance for your help

    4. Kayleen says:

      Thanks Marilyn for responding. I’ve checked out the mortgage rescue scheme but was told at meeting that I’m not eligible as There is a second property (which is in dispute) also no equity in property.

    5. Joy Down says:

      I have applied for my decree absolute and have been told by the courts that I have to file a statement saying that my ex and I havent lived together since 2008 and that I havent had a child. Also I have to serve papers on him, what do I do and how do I serve papers on him, also what must I say in them.
      Yours faithfully,

    6. david thain says:

      Hi I have been informed my absolute is through (before settlement financially) my wife who petioned the divorce still comes and goes to the matrimonial home,leaving the children in my care,we never know when she will turn up again and the children are starting to be affected by the lack of stability. I have put forward my proposals to my solicitor where I have asked I remain in the home with the children (i work and pay mortgage bills etc) she earns nothing and is with the new boyfriend most of the time,she is meant to put forward her proposals and HAS NOT BOTHERED so far and I am told there is no time limit…what can I do about removing her from home,when she returns she brings the boyfriend whom the children cannot stand and despite solicitor letters etc advising her of this she continues to say “still my house,do what I want”..

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Hi David
        You can obtain an occupation order if this can’t be resolved sensibly. There is a difference between having a financial interest in a property and it being a home. Also have you issued a financial application to the court for a Transfer of Property Order?

    7. Lisa Hyde says:

      Hi, the pronoucement of my decree nisi is fixed for the 14th January, does that mean I can apply for the absolute on 26th Feb? When I apply for the absolute on that day (I’m going to take the paper and fee down to court in person) How long will I have to wait to recieve the certificate?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Hi Lisa
        Six weeks and a day after DN you can fill in the form and pay a £45 fee. The court will issue a certificate of Decree Absolute either whilst you wait or by post. Keep it safe, if you wish to remarry you will need to produce the sealed original (the one with the court stamp on it)
        Best wishes

    8. Jonathan says:

      hello Marilyn, I have a boyfriend which he recieve his absolute of nisi last october2010 and he is the respodent. Her wife said that she will apply the abolute of decree when the property will be sold. They sold the property last September 2012. They split the money. My boyfriend is waiting for his absolute of decree to come out but then we just checked to the registry that never been processed at all, so my boyfriend apply for theabsolute of decree december 2012 and the court said they will be an hearing this coming January 9 2013. the financial problem was been resolved since the house was sold. They both agree to attend the court. My question is how long will it take to get my boyfriend absolute of decree? Thank you so much

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Hi the court will make the order immediately. If you are the Respondent and want to apply for Decree Absolute there must be a short hearing in the Judge’s chambers not open court. He will be sitting at the head of the table. There is nothing to be worried about, he will take control.
        Best wishes

    9. Becky says:

      Hi, my husband as taken me to the court for a divorce and he has just been granted decree Nissi recently, we have been in a regular telephone conversation since the last festive period. He has been given 6 weeks and 1 day to apply for Decree absolute but he told me that he will not go for the absolute…. We have also been passed to a mediator to help reach an agreement on the arrangement of children as we have 2 kids, in oUr recent conversation we both think seperation will be best for now, I am so confused I don’t know the legal implication of this and also what does it means if he doesn’t go for the decree absolute. Thanks

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Hi Becky
        No need for confusion! a divorce will end your marriage and if he won’t apply then three months after the six week one day period you can apply and your marriage will be ended.
        Finances and child issues are completely separate.
        Have you got your finances sorted out?
        Mediation may help sort out child issues if not there’s the court.
        Consider making a will too.
        Best wishes

    10. Nancy Mafico says:

      Can the respondent in a divorce matter delay proceedings after papers have been served on him by stating that he wants to be known by only one of his given names in the divorce papers? The petition has his full given names as they appear on his birth certificate and the marriage certificate. I have been advised by my solicitor that the court has directed that I have to sign a new set of papers reflecting only the one name he has selected otherwise the matter can’t proceed.

    11. s says:

      Hi Marylin
      My parents have a decree absolute that stated how to split the finances. My dad is reluctant to sign over what is owed to him and my mum really wants to be able to move on in her current relationship. She is frustrated that she still receives all the paperwork, he has not contacted them to change address details, he does not arrange collection of the paperwork, and after 12 years he has not bothered to sort it out. Is there a time limit to carry out the agreed terms? is there anything else she can do?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        I dont know what was agreed in the financial order. The Decree Absolute is a certificate that ends the marriage.
        All I can suggest is that if your mum is having trouble, she returns to court and asks the court for directions as to implementation of the order.
        This is general advice, for more specific advice about her situation, she needs to take the order to a solicitor.

    12. Francesca Gizzi says:

      Hi Marilyn, congratulations for this blog and the info, it’s great – I’ve just found it out and I am reading all the posts!! I’d be grateful if you could give me your advice on the following:
      Decree Nisi obtained in June 2012, ex wife (petitioner) doesn’t solicit a decree absolute, because she wants to solve finances first (i.e. she wants spousal maintainance in addition to child maintatinance which respondent already gives her) she has been told the ancillary relief can be dealt in parallel and separately but she’s too ignorant. 1) Can the Respondent apply for a Decree absolute and what are the risks if any? 2) Also, he has just left his job to move to France, where he is self employed as a personal trainer (no stable income as dipendent on clients he gets). No capital and no assets so he wants to make clear to ex that he won’t be able to pay her anything. Can he also apply to Court for a financial consent order to establish that? 3) Can Court award her any money in the situation he hasn’t got any? MANY THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION, I’D BE GRATEFUL FOR ANY ADVICE!

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Francesca
        1. Yes -he can apply to the court for DA 3months after the 6 week waiting period for her to apply has expired. The Judge at the hearing will consider the position and either make the DA or not. He could order either party to pay the costs of the application or make no order for costs.
        2.He could apply to have all financial claims against him dismissed but the court isnt bound to make that order especially if there are children. He needs specific advice.
        3. In theory no. However if the court is satisfied he has assets and can pay even if he protests he cant, the court could still make an order.

    13. Lee Clews says:

      Hi Marilyn
      I have received my consent order from my soon to be ex wife’s solicitor. We both agree to a financial break (She would as she has my savings!!) are there any specifics I need to be checking in the order before I sign and send back? Finances at the moment are extremely difficult, as I mentioned before she is not willing to give me my savings which are in her account so I can proceed with the divorce.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Hi Lee
        I suggest you take it to a solicitor for some detailed, personal advice. Its a very important document and you never know:- you might think its a clean break agreement but the document just might say something else. I appreciate you want to save money but not for this.

    14. kabir says:

      hi, i have a friend whose ex husband did not acknowledge her divorce papers and then she filled d13b with proof that her ex has received the papers and the court has granted her to procceed with the next stage that is discree that she has made an application of discree nisi what will happen and how long she has to wait to get response from the court..

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Kabir
        Your friend is still married. He is not an “ex” husband yet. It depends on how quickly the courts deal with requests for divorce. Some do it quickly, some take several weeks. Your friend should check direct with the court.

    15. Jane says:

      Hi Marilyn, I was late applying for my Divorce Absolute, so I attached some reasons for the delay. My ‘husband’ and I still reside at the same address purely for financial reasons, which I declared. I did not expand on this but we have a fixed rate mortgage which doesn’t end till January 2014 and he and I can’t afford to sell up till then. He lives his life like a single guy. We are like two ships that pass in the night, the arrangements are not perfect but for the time being it’s just making the best of a bad situation.
      I have now received a letter from the court telling me my application was referred to the District Judge who has refused it because “The Parties still reside under the same roof”. I am deeply upset by this, I can’t afford to go through the divorce process again. Can I contest this reason, as I’ve read stories on the Internet of people divorcing and still living together due to finances. Would it help if I got my ex to put something in writing to support the divorce. I would really appreciate some advice. Thank you.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Jane
        I think you should apply for a hearing before the District Judge to give more information in relation to the request for Decree Absolute. I think your husband should also attend to confirm the position.

    16. sharon mair says:

      Hi wonder if u can help me ,i have been seperated from my husband for nearly 5 years we have 2 children under 16 and live in scotland ,all our financial side has been sorted out as well as visitation rights for the children , i have a new partner and we are talking about marriage and i would like to know what the next step is to getting a
      divorce the only reason i havent done this already is financial can u point me in the right direction thanx so much .

    17. susan says:

      hi, my husband applied for a decree nissi may 2011. He has been stalling on the finances and not paying me child maintenance and i want to get the finances sorted out and move on with my life. I would like to know, can i apply for a decree absolute while we are still sorting out the finances or is it better to do finances first then apply for a decree absolute. I dont know whats the best move to do next as i am not getting anywhere on the financial side with him. Thanks

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Susan
        You really need to get on with things! You should apply to the court for a financial settlement straight away. You could download my book to see what happens and what to think about in terms of what you and the children need by way of a financial settlement. Its 99p and all proceeds go to charity. Contact Child Maintenance Options to see what you should be doing in terms of sorting out child support. Its a free telephone or online webchat service.
        Then you can decide if you should get a Decree Absolute – read my post about Decree Absolute to decide.
        Most of all however, I suggest you take legal advice from a solicitor of your own, and remember Legal Aid will stop in April 2013 so theres no time to waste if you think you qualify. Theres an online checker for Legal Aid-(google it) but your solicitor will tell you too.

    18. Bill Mckechnie says:

      I attended court for financial hearing. I handed a file containing evidence my ex deliberately overspent on credit card to lessen the equity. The file was given 5 days prior to the hearing but the Judge refused to read it. I asked for pension share but was told I have no legal right as we are now absolute. I complained about file not been read.
      We were asked to wait outside, when we returned he apologised but the recorder was not working he highlighted everything again but missed off the file and the pension.
      £37,500 equity he said all that was available for me was £4.000. If he had read the file she spend on dating sites, TK max, holidays and car.
      Do I have the right to complain?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Bill
        You may have the right to appeal the judgement. Its impossible for me to say except I would urge you to take legal advice straight away. Dont delay.

    19. leslie robinson says:

      I obtained decree absolute and completion of property transfer of equity to me a few weeks ago. Former spouse now claims to be unhappy with the way the property transfer was done and has requested £10,000. There is no consent/court order. What’s my level of exposure and what can I do to safeguard my assets. Would transferring the property to a 3rd party help? Many thanks.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Leslie
        A transfer to someone else wouldnt help as it looks fishy and could be set aside. Your ex can still apply to the court but the procedure is long and potentially expensive. Take legal advice as to the basis on which the transfer took place. If you are advised to negotiate, then do so. But then make sure a consent order in the divorce is part of the agreement. If you are advised it will stand up, you can apply for a dismissal of all claims each of you have against the other. I have no idea about your finances, you need specialist advice.

    20. Margaret says:

      Dear Marilyn
      I am becoming increasingly concerned for a friend of mine who in his seventies who has lost twenty thousand pounds, all his savings and hasn’t managed to reach a financial settlement. Shortly after he moved out his wife claimed to have dementia and was deemed to be incapacitated. The grown up children took over their mothers Pof A and access to her bank and income. The official solicitor appointed a local solicitor to act for the wife/ respondent.
      The family changed the locks very early on and have refused to cooperate with any settlement that involves selling the marital ten roomed property. Due to the refusal to cooperate both elderly parents have lost their savings, having failed to follow directions by the FDR judge. The Final Hearing due soon has now been postponed.
      Has my friend any way of bringing this abuse of power by the children to an end.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Margaret
        Clearly this is complicated and I assume your friend has a solicitor. The court does have power to order a sale and I suspect that is what will happen. If he isnt confident in his solicitor, he can change.

    21. Molly says:

      I’ve recieved a divorce petition from my husband stating 5 years seperation as the grounds for divorce. However, I only left the matrimonial home 4 years and 4 months ago. Should I send the papers back to the court stating this? Can the divorce still proceed? What would happen?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Molly
        If you have not been seperated for five years then you must return the Acknowledgement of Service stating this.It will then be up to your ex to proceed to a hearing if he still wishes to proceed and contests what you say.
        An amicable divorce can be obtained on the basis of two years separation and you both consent.

    22. Peter says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      I got a decree absolute earlier this year and now I am trying to get a consent order/clean break. My ex is clearly delaying signing it although says that she will. In the meantime I want to know the level of risk / liklihood of her making a successful claim against my future earnings/assets/property. At the moment I have a salary and a few savings. There were no children or assets during the marriage and we separated finances immediately after separation. She earns significantly more than me.
      Also if she won’t sign how can I get a court order to prevent her making any claims in the future?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Without a court order closing off all claims of any nature whatsoever there is always a possibility of your ex making an application against you. I dont know exactly what you are trying to do but the conventional system is to issue an application to the court for a financial settlement and seek a dismissal of all claims.
        Best wishes

    23. Louise says:

      My Absolute can be applied for on this month. On the statement of information form I stated I have no intention to co-habit. This situation, due to various reasons, has now changed. My question is does this mean I will be in contempt of court? How long are you supposed to wait before moving on? The box I ticked at the time was my genuine circumstance but I am wondering if there is a cooling off period.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        The Statement of Information form I suspect relates to your financial settlement not your divorce. If a settlement was achieved on the basis that you were not intending to cohabit and then you do straight afterwards, it may be possible for your ex to do something about it so I suggest you have a word with your solicitor.

    24. hazel stirk says:

      I thought i divorced my husbandon 3rd nov 1993 as i received a decree nisi, The pension office say that i am divorced. I am now panicking as i cannot remember if i applied for the decree absolute as i did the divorce myself. I have spoken to the court who say i can fill in a D440 to see if i have this decree absolute but they say i will have to pay£120 and then i may still find out i havent applied. I thought it would be easier to apply for the absolute but due to the time gap i have no idea how to go about this and cannot afford to see a solicitor . Can anyone give me advice

    25. Courtney ROberts says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      Please can I ask you for some advice? I obtained mu decree nisi on 15th January this year. I was under the impression that I have to wait until we have all our financial situation sorted out – what he wants from me, what I want from him, etc. Now I’m confused! We have not agreed on ANYTHING financial yet – can I apply for the absolute or not?
      Also, I’m 99.9% certain that my soon-to-be-ex-huisband has purchased a new property, albeit with a mortgage – is this classed as an asset, due to us not being fully divorced yet?
      Your help and advice would be greatly appreciated.
      Thanks, Courtney

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Courtney
        Yes you can apply if you are satisfied you arent going to lose out on any automatic benefits before a financial settlement is in place. I dont know your circumstances so Id suggest checking with a solicitor first.
        As for property, all property must be disclosed as at the hearing date of the application and will be taken into account by the Court, Any future assets/benefits /change of circumstances you are aware of at that time must also be disclosed.

    26. Margie says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      May I ask some advise from you ? I have my decree nisi on the 15th of November2012, but there is an order for a question of custody, ancillary relief and cost be adjourned to chambers. I have been through the adjourned hearing . since my child is turning 18 in few months more the the court declared that there’s no order for the custody. My question is how long do I need to wait for applying the decree absolute? I am confused please help me .
      Thank you so much

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Margie
        As I have explained so many times on this blog you can apply for DA after 6weeks if you are the Petitioner and after three further months if the Respondent. What you have to decide is whether you might lose out financially if you do and are o longer a wife. So if he were to die before a financial settlement is in place would you lose a widows pension? So take legal advice on your own financial position and in particular in relation to any potential losses that could not be recouped out of the assets if you are no longer a wife/widow.

    27. Chris says:

      Hi Marilyn, let me first of all thank you for your public service. I love that you provide “open source” clarification of legal stuff. It might seem trivial to you, but to get answers to these question is daunting task for regular folks 🙂 . I would like to ask you. What are your thoughts on possibility of getting period between decree nisi and decree absolute shortened. Providing, both petitioner and respondent wish to do so.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Chris
        Thanks. I receive several queries each day as you may have noticed and I have answered them all so far but it’s growing!
        Time can be abridged but you will both need the permission of the court and the reason really must be exceptional I think.

    28. Carol says:

      Hi Marilyn, my mum and dad have been separated for for five years and my mum has never received her decree absolute but my father has…….. Does this mean they’re legally divorced? If not how does my mother get her decree absolute?
      Thank you

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Carol
        If your father has his certificate of Decree Absolute then there has been a divorce process and they are divorced. She should check with the court and get her copy.
        However Im concerned you havent mentioned that there was an ongoing divorce. I think your mum needs to take legal advice.
        Best wishes

    29. Carol says:

      That’s what I meant by separated an ongoing divorce sorry!!

    30. Linda says:

      My boyfriend has just recently gone through a divorce, (decree ab recieved yesterday) & the solicitor is now pushing to sort the financial side out. There is a 3 bed house involved which he was forced to move out of 2 & 1/2 yrs ago, she still lives there & dosent work, the mortgage is being paid by benefits & some by her, she is refusing to put the house up for sale & is in no position of buying his half out, she has not kept up with the payments & putting it into arrears & starting to blacklist his name. There is no children involved has the youngest is nearly 21 yrs old & lives there part-time. Can the courts force her to sell so he can have his share out of it & clear his name. He has always paid the mortgage & she never contributed towards it.

    31. kabir says:

      hi ,could you please advice me if a court has accepted d13b application and asked to proceed to next stage which is discree nisi can the discree nisi be refused at this stage.

    32. Nancy says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      Wonderful web site. Thank you.
      I’m interested in someone that I heard was going through a divorce during the past year. I don’t want to ask him about it openly. Where can I go to find out if their divorce is final yet or on hold? I don’t mind if I have to pay a fee, I just want to know it’s final before approaching him in any way. I also want to know when it was finalized so that I can put an appropriate time period between the divorce and hopefully establishing a closer contact. Thanks again for any information. N

    33. Nancy says:

      ps- this divorce is taking place in London, England.
      Thanks again.

    34. nelson says:

      My partner split from her husband june last year. Children’s situation is sorted as he is living with us.
      He is very unreasonable person. Six weeks and one day will finish in two days. Last 4 days he’s been texting threats saying she owes him money. There was 3 cars and, all on her name. She gave him one as she was beaten by him and she had to leave without anything. Just clothes.
      She had about 1500£ when she left and she paid £970 from this to cancel a debt they had with HM&revenue.
      She is pregnant from me, and we already paid for the fee to apply for decree absolute. So the solicitor will do it this week hopefully.
      Solicitor wrote to him to propose to sign thez clean break! He wrote back to the solicitor but only silly things and nothing about clean break. Solicitor said that he just argues about one of her cars which is parked off road and says the court needs to resolve what to do with it.
      What basicaly can he do? He just want money but there was no money! About the car this is here’s and she wants to sell it as we paid everything regarding the divorce. He didn’t spend one penny!

    35. Toni says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      My boyfriend obtained his decree Nissi on Febriaury 19th and is planning on applying for the decree absolut on April 3rd (6 weeks and 1 day following). He has been seperated from his wife for 3 and a half years now and we have been together for 2 years. The divorce was acrimonious predominantly due to financial arguments – his wife did not wish to stay married (indeed she has a live in boyfriend) however she also does not wish to work and feels that she should be effectively paid a salary to stay at home and be mother to their 13yr old daughter. My boyfriend originally had a very well paid job to which she became accustomed however he started his own business 3 yrs ago and while paying himself a minimum wage it has yet to turn a profit. They have agreed via mediation on a financial settlement which includes his agreement to pay off her credit card bills and a generous child maintenance amount (50% of his current salary). They have 2 properties …. one of which is in her name with minimal equity which was the family home, it is agreed for her to keep this along with all furniture & contents. He has a property with negative equity and no contents which he has had since porior to the marriage which he is keeping as part of the settlement. As money is tight we are hoping that as soon as his divorce is through he will moive into my home and rent out his proprty in order to assist him in paying his obligations. However I am concerned that if if we become engaged (after the decree absolut is through) and move in together, his ex wife (as she will be) may attempt to make some claim over my own finances as his partner. As I do have significant equity in my home I am greatly concerned. Should we wait to move in together until after the financial settlement has been finalised in court or are my personal finances safe as they will no longer be legally married? Please advise/ Many thanks

    36. Rosalind says:

      Dear Marilyn
      My Husband and I were going through a divorce. Whilst we were sorting financed out we changed our minds about the divorce. My Husband wrnt to the Court to see what was happening and was told by a Court worker that he had to fill out a form and pay a sum to keep the divorce on the system which he did only to find out afterwards that withput realising ithe had actually signed for the divorce to go through which it did before we both realised what he had done. Is there anything we can do?

    37. Dee says:

      Hi Marilyn, I have found some really useful information here thank you so much. My final FDR hearing is at the end of this month and I want to then apply for my decree Absolute however my soon to be ex still lives in the family home and although does not contribute to any bills or mortgage payments has refused to leave. How soon after getting the Absolute can i ask that he removes himself from the house, I am pushing to have it signed over to me as i am paying the mortgage and will also have to take over a large business debt of his that has been secured against the family home in order to stop it from being foreclosed by the bank. Can you help please?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Dee
        Check that applying for the DA does not potentially adversely impact on you.
        You can apply to remove him only when you both agree or the court orders him to leave. That usually means when there is an order in place dealing with the finances or if the court orders hm to leave due to his conduct.
        You can just force him out of his home and you can ask his failure to contribute to be taken into account in the finances, although I don’t know what his response to that might be.

    38. Laura says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      I was wondering if you could help me? I have been going through the divorce process for nearly two years as my ex husband has been refusing to sign any forms. I finally managed to get the decree nisi through in November but although I have filled in all the paperwork needed for the decree absolut he’s refusing to do so. We have no property or children together and there is only a small amount of savings that will be split although this is diminishing every month more I have to pay the solicitors fees. Is there anyway I can do this without him as my solicitor doesn’t seem to be much help?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Laura
        If you petitioned for divorce you can apply for Decres Absolute without needing him to sign anything.
        If he did, then you can apply to the court for DA by making an application on notice assuming three months have passed since the expiry of the original six week period after Decree Nisi.

    39. Elizabeth says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      I married for the second time in 2010, a mere two and a half years later, I asked him to leave, due to unreasonable behaviour, primarily, emotional abuse. I bought a house 3 months after the wedding, in my name only, with my deposit only. My new husband had always lived in flat shares with friends up until this point (even for those months after the wedding, until I bought the house). He made no contribution to the mortgage, he gave me a monthly contribution to food and bills, in cash. We had no joint accounts, I didn’t know what he spent the rest of his money on. We had no children together. I have applied for divorce, have a decree nisi, but he has instructed a solicitor, and claims to have paid half the mortgage, and wants that money back. I made him a few offers, all rejected, I have had one introductory meeting with a mediation firm (solo), they want me to complete their own, slightly abridged version of a form E, and want to arrange a joint meeting. My questions are:
      1. Do I attend a further meeting? I have no intention of offering money to him, and I fear seeing him again, as he will upset me, he is very manipulative.
      2. Do I apply for the DA as soon as I am able, in a couple of weeks, even though there is no financial settlement?
      Many thanks,

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Elizabeth
        Like all my comments and opinions on this blog, they are intended as a guide only and you must not rely upon them. There could be something I dont know about which would change the entire picture. Thus I strongly advise you to take your own personal legal advice.
        Subject thereto on the assumption that you had all the assets pre marriage and all he has done is paid for food for two years or so, neither of you have acquired any assets during this marriage, I would make it clear that he appears to have no prospect of success. You would argue he made the payments in lieu of rent and therefore is not entitled to anything. After a short childless marriage where there are no matrimonial assets to share, and both of you are moving on more or less as before the marriage, its difficult to see what he reasonably would expect to obtain from a court, and the cost of applying to the court would far outweigh what he is seeking. However, that also counts for you too and you want his agreement that all claims against you be dismissed. So if you do want to be pragmatic and avoid the cost of a full blown court hearing, you could always make a nuisance offer. If you dont or he rejects it and the case goes ahead you could argue he should pay your costs if he doesnt succeed, but that might be a phyrric victory.
        As for DA it sounds sensible but I stress again, that I know nothing at all about your finances or his, I have no idea for example about the pension position and death benefits you may automatically lose so I cant specifically advise.
        Check your own position with a solicitor.

    40. angela says:

      I received a decree nisii over 2 years ago. Since then neither I nor my ex initiated the next stage for the decree Absolute. My ex had initiated the divorce. I just received a decree Absolute from the court with a reason ‘ Permission to apply out of time’. Can the court just grant a decree Absolute without any party initiating it? If my ex (i am not in contact with him) had initiated this stage then should I have received that communication from the court prior to the grant of decree Absolute? Many thanks

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Angela
        If your husband was the petitioner he may have filed a sworn statement along with the application for Decree to be made Absolute and the judge may have simply granted it.
        Had you wanted to hold it up you could have made your application after Decree Nisi to the court and if you had good reason the court could have done something about it.

    41. Carmen says:

      Hi Marilyn:
      It is great having someone to refer in certain moments!!!
      My husband applied for divorce and i received a letter for Decree Nisi to be pronounced last October, since my husband left the country and lives in Italy, i was suggested to write a letter asking for Decree Absolute.
      I was wonder if you can give me any idea on how to ask it or write one as I an the respondent .
      Thank you

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Carmen
        You can apply for Decree Absolute but you will need to make an application to the court. The Form is D11 and can be downloaded from Get a divorce

    42. alexandra says:

      Dear Marilyn:
      I am getting divorce, but started a new relationship five years ago, i have a child an a seven years old daughter from my husband, we used to live on my flat, (council accommodation), my new partner has a flat and asked us to move in with him last year, since, our relationship has broken and he asked me to moved out, now, i have no where to go, even if i want to apply for any accommodation it is not that easy, am i entitle to anything from him? or do i just have to take my daughter and leave him?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Alexandra
        Living with someone does not give you any legal protection/rights/obligations, if the relationship breaks down. He cant just throw you out however, he needs a court order to oblige you to leave and you need to apply to the local authority for rehousing you and your daughter.

    43. King says:

      Hi Marilyn ,i got married in may 2008 and got divorce this my degree absolute just arrived today ,can i apply for indefinite leave to remain .will i be given right on my own because the marriage lated for four year ….do you think i qualify..please advice me

    44. Hilary says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      My DA was granted in Sept ’06, have 2 children 17/16 and 16yr son lives with EH. No financial settlement agreed, I am the Respondent and would not sign as EH would not agree maintainance bk in 06′ at the time of divorce petition. I have a partner of 7 yrs now and EH remarried Jan ’13, while I was living out in France. I want to remarry this yr also, but do we still need to arrange a ‘clean break’ and can any claim be made by each other if we don’t agree and sign one asap or in the future? MY EH has stated he does not need a clean break, but is he correct, I don’t think he is, please could you confirm and I will proceed accordingly and thank you.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Hilary
        If you are seeking specific advice this is not the forum. I only give general advice and always advise readers to take their own which is personal to them.
        Remarriage ends maintenance claims. It can also affect the ability to make a capital claim in any event.
        Each case is fact dependent. There was a case last week you may have read in the press where the ex wife tried to bring a capital claim long after the marriage ended and after she had a relationship with another. It was described as exceptional and hopeless.

    45. Natalia says:

      Hi Marilyn, I have a decree absolute and a financial settlement signed by my ex husband. However, now he is divorced, he has no intention to stick to the settlement and pay anything. Doesn’t spend time with his child either. What can I do? Thanks

    46. Mairi mcneil says:

      Hi Marilyn, looking for some general advice, my partner married in the uk almost two years ago, him and his wife immediately had to put their relationship on hold as she had to fly back to her home country to look after a sick relative. It quickly became apparent that the relationship couldn’t be sustained and they are now looking to dissolve the marriage, can you advise if my partner has to file for divorce and then apply for a decree nisi? It seems that on the form for the decree nisi it asks for a reference number and we are unsure how this is obtained! Basically just need to know how to get the ball rolling.
      Thank-you in advance for any advice you can offer.

    47. HK says:

      Hi marilyn
      I have gone through mediation and sorted out the financial side. I am just waiting for my ex to sign and give the consent order so i could also sign and send it to court. i could also apply for absolute, But at the same time my solicitor advised that i wait for the consent order to come from court, as it could affect my matrimonial rights. We decided i will not claim for his house if he gives my personal items and a lump sum. im just worried if i apply for absolute my ex will change his mind before i get the consent order from court. if he has signed the consent order and i send it to court could he still change his mind? But it has been 7 months now and i really want it to end. i have found someone and want to get married in august. But i really want the divorce to finish by july. At this rate i dont think it will finish by then. could you please give me some advice what i could do.

    48. Tim says:

      Hi Marylin,
      I have recieved a decree Nisi from the courts after sending a letter opposing the petitioner (Wife). She formed a relationship before our marriage and had an affair. I on the other hand was oblivious to this apart that her behaivour had changed and i just put it down to the wedding. We had been together for over 10 years . i found out about the petitioners affair after the marriage. we married end july 2010. I left the marital home on finding this information out and stayed with my mum. After a couple of months she wrote to me appologising and says she still loves me and to give us another chance for the kids sake. I returned only for a couple of months to only find that she was still texting her lover. I never went back again. After we split she continued her affair with her lover. I then met someone a year after all this trauma. My wife is stating adultery for the grounds of divorce. As i now live with another woman yet she is quite happily seeing her lover and stays over in my house. I am angry and sent a letter opposing the petitioner which they refused and stated if i wanted to oppose i had to do it in court 16th april 13 10am which i only recieved the letter the 16th april 11am. I miss lead the initial letter from the courts and thought it read that if opposing the petitioner you can not attend court (did not fully understand the letter and have little money to seek legal advice). I sent another one last week and states : If the respondent wishes to challenge the decree nisi order he should make a formal application at a hearing and on notice to the petitioner. If you wish to proceed please complete D11 with the required £90. A hearing date will be fixed which you must attend. Please note that the petitioner will be at liberty to apply for a decree absolute from 29th May 2013 (Letter recieved today 29th May 2103). If the decree absolute is applied for before your application is recieved your application and fee will be returned to you. I can not afford £90 yet my partner (co -respondent ) said she could use her credit card to pay it if needs be. I do not want to divorce the petitoner on the grounds that i commited adultery when i am not that kind of man to cheat. The petitoner is claiming other costs against the grounds of i commited adultery. The petitoner has legal aid. At first i could not get legal aid when i first applied for divorce the divorce papers never reach the court before i had to cancel as i could not afford to pay for the divorce thats when the petitioner seek legal advice and got her papers in before. The fundamental breakdown to our marriage was due to the petitoners own affair. She claimed that i never paid her enough attention as i worked long hours and nights so obviously she thought this was a good reason to have an affair for a relationship with someone at work while she was engaged to me. She didnt have the bottle to tell me what she did about her affair. This is why i am in this mess now. My finances have changed can i try and seek legal aid? I am on a debt management and if i was to pay for this divorce the cost will have to incurred through my debt management as i can not see how the costs of the divorce can be paid for other than this. Me and petitoner have been sperated for over 2years. I think this whole thing is a scam , unfair and unjust that even my partner is mentioned in the divrce as co responent even though i didnt meet her until after the petitioner was with her lover. The courts have given me very little time to challenge the petitioner when she can apply for decree absolute today . Please help any way you can, i be most appreciative of your advice .

    49. ron says:

      My wife petitioned for divorce and decree nisi was received 8 months ago.
      We have a house between us that I a have a agreed to 75/25 split in her favor. Since agreeing this it has been said our morgage company wont allow her to take over whole morgage as she has never worked.
      Shes trying to talk me into staying on morgage.
      She is due a baby by another man in 8 weeks.
      I just want this marriage over .
      What can I do?
      Any advice appriciated.

    50. Amelia says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      My partner split from his wife in 2007 and the request for the settlement was made. The money given although documented through his solicitor at the time, was given directly to her and the clean break order was not signed.
      We are due to have a baby August and wanted to marry, or st the very least have the divorce finalised before our baby is born.
      In feb 13 after much abuse his ex signed an application for a decree nisi.
      Due to the time span, the court wanted to verify the petitioner was who she was and therefore sent out the application again to confirm her address, that the parties were still separated and there were no children of the marriage.
      This was completed, signed and sent back by his ex in may 13.
      The judge declined granting the decree nisi on the grounds the petition was over 6 yrs old.
      His ex has since found out I am pregnant and is now refusing to complete any paperwork.
      Can my partner serve her with petition papers and apply to the court for divorce himself?
      Would really appreciate advice which is the quickest way to go around this as I have 11 weeks before the baby is due.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Amelia
        Your partner can apply to divorce his wife on the basis they have been separated for five years. He can apply for his clean break in those proceedings.
        Best wishes

    51. Dave says:

      Hello Marilyn
      I guess like everyone else who reads your words I would like to thank you
      I have a situation where my wife started the divorce and I duly recieved the nisa that was effetive back on 14th january 2013
      In the meantime I agreed to attend Mediation with her where all our finances were discussed and a complete list was drawn up by the mediatior we have 2 family business and a house the house has an outstanding mortgage and there are 2 loans with a bank one on each company.
      Oiur house is sold subject to contract and will be finalised in the next 2 to 3 weeks once sold the mortgage will be paid off and the bank will take payment for 2 loans the company took out (the bank has lean on the house for both loans )
      I have been waiting for the absoulte to come through but nothing my son has informed me that my wife will not apply for the absolute because she has now decided that she now wants repayment for half of the loans that need repaying to the bank for the companies
      It was all agreed that I would keep the companies and give my wife half the amount of all cmpany assets this was all fine but as I say now she now thinks she is entitled to all this plus half of the loan debt being paid back to the bank
      Can I apply for the absoulte and will it affect the financial settlement by the way I have met someone else and want to re marry thanks for amy advice

    52. Sirfraz says:

      Dear Marylin
      I am trying to divorce my wife, without success, for almost a year now. I am at the stage where I am requesting for a court bailiff to hand deliver divorce petition to her work place. The first request being at my parents house, where she is residing and enrolled on the electoral roll. However, due to conflicting information, the bailiff could not deliver the petition.
      Due to our culture / tradition, my parents don’t want me to divorce my wife and I have a partner and two young children so want to marry my partner, in order to do this, I would need to divorce my wife. Although, I was forced to marry in Pakistan, my parents managed to bring my spouse to the UK where she lives with my parents now and my alleged son (I say this because it took her three months after I left Pakistan to know that she is pregnant).
      Anyway, issue lies with divorce. Now the bailiff will try and serve at her workplace – maybe before the summer holidays as she works in a school. I want to know what would be the next step if the bailiff cannot serve these papers to her as my mum works with my wife at the school and she is already trying to stop the process in any way possible. What is the difference in using a personal process server? Also would I be able to apply for dispense service or deemed service? Any advice would be much appreciated.
      Kind Regards

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Sirfraz
        I think you should instruct a reputable enquiry agent to try and serve your wife with the petition, if you can afford to do so. If that is successful then you would lodge the enquiry agent’s proof of service and can move to the next stage. If it isnt, then you will need to complete a form to the court asking to dispense with service ie proceed without having served your wife. The court will decide what else you may still need to do in the circumstances you describe. Try this link:-

    53. Angela says:

      I hope you can offer some advice about child maintenance. My daughter has just got her DA. There are two children under 12. The ex has not contributed a bean for anything since December 2012. The marital home was under threat of repossession and children suffering. We were in a position of being able to pay the mortgage off but only did so after he had signed a TR1 and a clean break order. We paid him £20,000 to buy him out of the house equity which was more than he should have got when it was worked out but we wanted rid.
      He has gone to Spain to live close to his parents and has said he won’t work so my daughter can’t have any money from him. We know for a fact that besides the £20,000 he has also gone off with £10,000 which was in Premium Bonds and was a joint asset. My question is can a judge order maintenance to be paid from savings? How would we know if he is earning money say by taxi driving? He never paid towards the child from his first marriage.
      My daughter had to fold her business in April and now has to rely on us and benefits but of course the house is secure and deeds will be in her name. She will find a job soon we hope.
      With regard to access…… He did say before leaving (he didn’t even say goodbye to the children) that he wanted them to visit him for 2 weeks in summer. He has sent one text since the 3rd May and had no contact since and we are now in mid June. The children do not want to go to Spain if he ever gets back in touch. Would the judge actually speak to the children to ask how they feel about this and future trips?
      It is terrible how such people can have children and disappear off without a care in the world. No responsibility, nothing. He even went to Thailand for 8 weeks knowing the mortgage was in arrears and no money coming in. He just said he had no money!

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Angela
        A court will have to deal with this rather than the CSA as he is residing outside the country. It will be a lot of hassle and ideally should have been done when the deal was done in relation to the transfer of property. The court can make a lump sum order in relation to child support and order income to be paid out of secured capital.
        As for contact it will be up to him to persuade a court if they dont want to go. A court will take into account the wishes and feelings of the children provided they are sufficiently mature to understand and express their views.

    54. Charlie says:

      Hi Marilyn. I would like some advice regarding my partner. His ex wife is living in the former marital home with his child. He has been paying the mortage and bills and taken on the joint debts since they split two years ago and has now been advised he needs to make CSA maintenece payments on top.
      There’s around £20,000 equity in the house. He has offered half in a lump sum and all the possesions as a financial settlement. One minute his ex says she will agree, the next she changes her mind. He wants to avoid costly and lengthy court proceedings. Can you advise what he should do next as he can’t move on.
      Many thanks

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Charlie
        In a divorce settlement a court can make an order for a transfer of property, a lump sum, a pension share and maintenance. It can also make other orders but the ones I have mentioned seem the most relevant. The court will make those orders on the basis of need, not on a 50/50 division of the equity in the house. So what does she need and what does he need and how can those needs be met out of what there is?
        The most important issue is where the children will live, presumably with their mother. How is that to be afforded? Where will he live? How much will it all cost taking into account all the income.
        You will find that it can work out perhaps (and this is a suggestion only) by him continuing to do what he is doing but retaining his half share in the house which will be paid to him when the youngest child finishes education or his wife remarries or lives with someone on a permanent basis.
        It needs sorting out, sooner rather than later because he has nothing agreed despite all the payments he has been making.

    55. Kate says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      My partner has been divorced for just over two years though the financial matters have still to be resolved.
      We bought a property together approx four years ago for which i paid a large deposit out of my saving ,at the time we were advised that this wouldn’t be taken into consideration as it is only assets the he jointly owned with his now ex wife that mattered.
      Can you please explain were we stand on this issue.
      Many thanks

    56. Paul says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      I have been seperated from my wife for over two years. Originally we were to divorce on the grounds of us living apart and I was to do this, my wife changed her mind and divorced me on grounds of adultery ( untrue incidentally) I was advised to accept this which I did. The decree nisi was issued in February but her solicitor won’t move forward to the decree absolute. I can’t afford a solicitor and wanted at least to sort out this part of my divorce. I have a document From the court saying that unless there is an appeal within 6 weeks of the Nisi the judge saw no reason why we shouldn’t be divorced. I have looked on the website and the form you have to fill in to ask for a divorce to be made absolute looks rather generic to me and asked for a sample of the order you want sent to them.
      Any advice would be great fully received

    57. dawn says:

      my partner has been granted decree nisi, he is the respondent. there are no children of the marriage, there is no property (house) to be disputed only personal belongings of his, the majority of which remained in the matrimonial home upon his leaving. His soon to be ex’s solicitors are holding back on the decree absolute until a financial order is agreed but he has no money after rent etc etc, only a pension which is not payable untill he is at least 66 (he is 47), she resides in the matrimonnial home (rented) and has retained most of his personal belongings, tools, diving equipment etc. He has left with his clothing, cd’s, dvd’s and a few basic tools. in short there is nothing to settle as she has had most of it already. what is the likelihood of absolute being granted when he is able to apply? He is bankrupt and can not afford a solicitor to act on his behalf and her solicitor is not responding quickly to him or his communications

    58. Charlie says:

      Many thanks for your response. He has considered the option you suggested regarding keeping a joint interest in the property but he really needs a clean break from this woman as she continues to control every aspect of his life – she breached the contact order last weekend just because she wanted to keep their child with her which he was powerless to do anything about. Does he have to pay to have this breach logged on the court’s records?
      Also, what does he need to ask for when he contacts the county court about starting proceedings regarding financial settlement?
      Many thanks again for your advice.

    59. Ian says:

      Thanks for the blog and for the 99p book which I found useful.
      My wife and I have two children under 10, have been granted the decree nisi and are currently trying to finalise the finances. Nothing too complicated: the only assets are the proceeds from the sale of what was our house (we are both currently living in separate rented accommodation) and pensions. And working out what a reasonable levels of maintenance should be. This is all very amicable and so we are trying to do as much as we can ourselves to agree what the consent order (I think?) should set out. What we are struggling to get our heads around how the maintenance arrangements take account of future changes in circumstances, be they known (such as the fact that childcare costs will reduce once the children start secondary school, so the need for maintenance for the children should reduce) or less certain (such as if I have a child in a new relationship, thus affecting my ability to pay; or unforeseen changes in job circumstances). I think I understand from your book that the idea is that the order should be a ‘once and for all’ arrangement. Can it be flexible enough to accommodate future changes? Or does it have to be set at a level which is a best guess about what is likely to be needed? And what happens if a change in circumstances mean that is no longer affordable (or reasonably necessary)? Does an application have to be made for a revision?
      The other issue we are stuck on is the division of assets. She needs more cash now in order to have a bigger house (as the children will live with her). I had thought that the house and the CETV of both pensions pots were all taken together, divided in two, but then the increased cash that she gets at this stage is offset by her having a reduced claim on my pension value. She is thinking that they are two separate calculations: she gets the majority of the house money because she needs it; separately the pensions pot is totalled and then divided in two. Is it possible to say how this is usually done?

    60. Sirfraz says:

      Dear Marylin
      Thank you so much for your response, much appreciated. I have now asked for a personal process server to try and serve the divorce papers on my spouse. I was wondering if I am entitled to any of her savings? Any advice would be much appreciated.
      Kind Regards

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Sirfraz
        Could I suggest you spend 99p and download my book (click the link on the sidebar to the blog) which will give you far more detail than I can in this reply. The proceeds from the book are going to The Children’s Society.

    61. Julia says:

      My Partner has been divorcing for over two and a half years now, attened court several times and hammered out a financial agreement, house sold split 70:30 in wifes favour at judges suggestion, plus 50% of his pensions. Was a hold up over pensions but that has now been agreed, paperwork filed for the absolute with the financial agreement. judge asked in Devember 12 for a summary of the finances as it was over 12 months from Nisi . My partner compeleted his in Jan and sent copy to his wifes solictor, however they have not sent him a copy of hers and just ignore all contact… it appears she is not completing her form. She has had her share of the house and doesnt seem bothered about getting divorced, she now lives with someone else and did so 6 month after the house was sold. in the mean time my partner is paying into a pension that she will get half of until the divorce is final. What can he do??? This has cost him over 12k to get this far in legal costs, and he is now acting on his own behalf. as he cant afford to rehire a solictor. Help we are at a stand still.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Julia
        He needs to make an application to the court. I can’t be more specific but I think he needs to ask the court to make the order and grant decree absolute irrespective of her failure to comply.

    62. V. says:

      After 3. Months after my ex wife proposed a certain amount of monetly as settlement and signed the agreement, she still didn t sign the papers to be sent to court to get stamped to allow her 56 days to pay the money.
      For how long can she dragg this?
      Thank you

    63. Penny says:

      I am after some advice – I’m receiving legal aid but am aware I have to pay this back due to partner being abroad and not in an EU country. I’ve received my decree nisi – I’m the petitioner. I am asking my solicitor to apply for the Absolut. He has no assets but provides a maintenance each month which goes straight to a mortgage. Recently he has threatened not to pay this so now I am debating selling the house (I own 50%), he doesn’t own any of it. We have 3 children therefore I’m not working but he is. Can he make a claim on the house sale (I won’t come out with much after mortgage is paid off). How can I stop him claiming any of the house? He only helped pay mortgage for 7 months. My solicitor is saying we need to go to court re children access to confirm this once and for all but why should I have to pay for this? …

    64. Rike Theme says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      Could you please direct me regarding my divorce petition? I have filed a divorce petition some months ago but due to not clearly understanding the procedures, I made a mistake on my grounds for the petition. Realising this error, I filed application notice for the amendment of the grounds of my petition which is now on separation for two years and the respondent consenting to the divorce petition. Also, I asked for an order to dispense with re-service of the petition.
      On the application for amendment of the divorce petition and dispense of re-service of petition to the respondent, the court now sent me a letter which contains the following:
      “The District Judge has had sight of the matter and asks: What is the point of dispensing with re-service when to obtain the divorce on the proposed ground the Respondent will need to file an Acknowledgement of service giving her consent?”
      Please what do I need to do to correct this issue so that court can proceed with the case? Do I need to fill a form to address this issue or do I just write to the court to serve the divorce petition with the amendments on the respondent?
      Your advise will be highly appreciated.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Rike
        When the new petition is served it will have with it an Acknowledgement of Service which the Respondent must complete because there is confirmation of two years separation and consent to a divorce proceeding on that basis. That is the proof the court needs before you can proceed to apply for Decree Nisi.
        Best wishes

    65. Georgina says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      This Blog is fantastic and really helpful when you just need a bit of guidance to deal with everything.
      My boyfriend was a respondent on a divorce at the end of May last year. The decree nissi was granted on the 1st feb this year but then her solicitor came back with more demands for more money. They have finally agreed everything and he received the final papers to sign on Friday how long until the absolute is granted?
      Many Thanks

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Georgina
        Your boyfriend’s wife can make her application on paper and it should be by return. He will receive a sealed certificate from the court which he will need to produce as proof of his divorced status eg on remarriage. I expect it will be done when the financial order is made.

    66. Paul Williams says:

      My fiance has filed for her divorce from her estranged husband in Egypt. As it turned out he married her for both sex and money. From they married she was the one paying all the bills and when she returned to the UK she sold everything to send money to him for one thing or the other. If it was not his father that was sick it was hid brother, sister or something else. She was informed before she went back to the UK that she could only file for a divorce in Egypt which she did a year ago. She was informed that if she had come back for the final hearing she would never ever be able to get a divorce again.
      Then her so call attorney told her that he got a call from her husband informing her that he wants a divorce too but she has to pay him 5000 quid or she will never get the divorce. He told her he owns her and that he has the right to hit her as he pleases.
      I did my research and found out that it was a common practice in Sharm and Luxor Egypt that European women have being going through this ordeal for a while and are charged large amounts of money for their freedom.
      My fiance has since hired an attorney in the UK who seems to be dragging their feet. What has happened since then are 1) petitioned was filed with no return from the husband (which we expected.
      2) Husband sent email informing my fiance that he will not sign and return the petition. unless he is paid 5000 pounds to give her her freedom and she had no choice in the matter because there is nothing that the court in uk could do about it.
      3)My fiance in turn forwarded the email she received to her solicitors which in turned forwarded to the court which responded that the petition was now considered served.
      What we will like to know after reading your article is, since this is obvious that this was a scam on the husbands part from day one and since there are no kids or any thing to consider finance wise, is it possible that we go straight to the divorce absolute.
      Thanking you in advance,
      Paul Williams,

    67. Bob says:

      My ex and I separated just over 5 years ago. I started divorce proceedings through a solicitor 3 years ago citing unreasonable behaviour. To date she has yet to respond to any letters or divorce petition and eventually I had to serve the petition by substituted service following an unsuccessful attempt by a process server. Likewise with access to my daughter she refuses to let me see her and refused to correspond with a request for meditation. I am now waiting for the issue of the decree nisi by the court. After taking on a considerable amount and all of the debt upon separation I have requested a clean break order, but fear I will once again not get any response. Can anything be done to speed the process up without it costing more time and money? Surely she can’t avoid responding for ever?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Bob
        You can ask the court to deal with this problem at the First Appointment. Make sure she is personally served with the financial application so there is no doubt she has it.

    68. Paul Williams says:

      As mentioned before my wife to be is filing for a divorce in the UK after having trouble getting a divorce in Egypt. We were told by the attorney she used in Egypt that her divorce would not be valid in Egypt. Is that so? If so where else would the divorce not be considered valid?

    69. A Rehman says:

      Hi I have applied for petition in june 2013 and all the paperwork has gone very well… my ex signed the divorce papers and we both agrees for two years separation consent. The court send me staement of truth and and foam of decree nisi to apply.. i filed and sent back to the court but Its now been 2weeks I didnt heard from court I was expecting decree nisi this week… how long will court take to send the decree nisi certificate?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear A Rehman
        Courts aren’t that fast! Give them a few weeks before you contact them.Regards

    70. Andreas says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      I am a am a husband (the respondent) and i had my decrete nisi on the 10/09/12. Since then we tried to agree for financial matters nut no way. I want ask for a financial order. We have 2 propriety in both name and one business together as well. The business, is close to bankruptcy due to her bad expenditure. She abuse constantly in the last 5 years and recently she assaulted me at work. I want ending everything with her ASAP. I know i can ask myself the decrete absolute, but with all in common there is any risk?
      I just wand hed this terrible nightmare.
      Thanks you so much

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Andreas
        You can apply for Decree Nisi to be made Absolute. I have explained that getting divorced is NOT linked to a financial settlement. However it does affect any automatic benefits that might be lost if a divorce occurs before a financial settlement is in place, eg if one of you was to die widows benefit under a pension scheme would be lost. If you or she doesn’t have the possibility of loss then apply to the court.

    71. Paul Williams says:

      As mentioned before my wife to be is filing for a divorce in the UK after having trouble getting a divorce in Egypt. We were told by the attorney she used in Egypt that her divorce would not be valid in Egypt. Is that so? If so where else would the divorce not be considered valid?

    72. Paul Williams says:

      My fiance has filed for her divorce from her estranged husband in Egypt. As it turned out he married her for both sex and money. From they married she was the one paying all the bills and when she returned to the UK she sold everything to send money to him for one thing or the other. If it was not his father that was sick it was hid brother, sister or something else. She was informed before she went back to the UK that she could only file for a divorce in Egypt which she did a year ago. She was informed that if she had come back for the final hearing she would never ever be able to get a divorce again.
      Then her so call attorney told her that he got a call from her husband informing her that he wants a divorce too but she has to pay him 5000 quid or she will never get the divorce. He told her he owns her and that he has the right to hit her as he pleases.
      I did my research and found out that it was a common practice in Sharm and Luxor Egypt that European women have being going through this ordeal for a while and are charged large amounts of money for their freedom.
      My fiance has since hired an attorney in the UK who seems to be dragging their feet. What has happened since then are 1) petitioned was filed with no return from the husband (which we expected.
      2) Husband sent email informing my fiance that he will not sign and return the petition. unless he is paid 5000 pounds to give her her freedom and she had no choice in the matter because there is nothing that the court in uk could do about it.
      3)My fiance in turn forwarded the email she received to her solicitors which in turned forwarded to the court which responded that the petition was now considered served.
      What we will like to know after reading your article is, since this is obvious that this was a scam on the husbands part from day one and since there are no kids or any thing to consider finance wise, is it possible that we go straight to the divorce absolute.
      Thanking you in advance,
      Paul Williams,

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Paul
        Thanks for your e mails. Your wife to be must go through the divorce process in the usual way. It isn’t tricky. The problem about service has been over come so it should be straightforward now.
        As for recognition of foreign divorces, I have no idea whether the Egyptian courts will recognise the divorce, but I have never come across an English divorce not being recognised in any other country in the world. It’s not where the marriage takes place that counts, its whether a couple can satisfy jurisdictional requirements to get divorced in a country that does. She presumably has and therefore there shouldn’t be a problem.

    73. paula says:

      Hi i can you help , i can apply for a decree absolute 20th of august , there are no financial arrangements to sort or childcare arrangements , nothing , but my solicitor says once the absolute is applied for it will take six weeks maybe longer , would it be quicker if i did it myself ? regards paula

    74. Jacqui Pollitt says:

      Hi Marilyn
      What a find your site is! Thank you !
      My Nisi has just come through and I want to apply for the Absolute as soon as the necessary time has elapsed. Is it normal/acceptable to apply in person to the court and expect them to issue this ‘whilst you wait’? or does it have to be more formal than that?! There are no children/ finances to sort, so it should be fairly straightforward.
      Thanks, Jacqui

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Jacqui
        If you are the petitioner and are not fee exempt, you simply lodge an application for your Decree Nisi to be made Absolute, six weeks and one day after Decree Nisi, which is a simple form to complete and pay a fee of £45.
        If you are the respondent, then you have to wait for a further three months thereafter and make an application to the court which will be heard by a District Judge.
        In both cases go to the Ministry of Justice website to download the relevant form.

    75. Lisa Jane Baker says:

      My partners decree nisi was issued on the 19th July 2013, we have a wedding planned for 28th September 2013 and need to visit the registrar by 11th September with decree absolute.
      Is my partner in his rights to go to the court after the 6 weeks 1 day period to personally obtain the decree absolute.
      We are frantic with worry, our solicitor assured us it would all be done on time and not to alter the date of the wedding, but she has dragged her heels. Please help

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Lisa Jane
        If your fiancé is the Petitioner there should be no problem. An application for DA can be lodged with the court together with the fee and a certificate of Decree Absolute should be issued by the court by return. You can personally take the application and lodge it at the court office and they may issue the certificate of DA while you wait – check with them.
        Your solicitor therefore doesn’t appear to have dragged her heels bearing in mind there is nothing to do until then. There are rare and very exceptional circumstances to abridge the waiting period. Getting remarried isn’t usually one of those reasons.
        If your fiancé is the Respondent then you do have a problem if the Petitioner doesn’t apply for DA, your fiancé would normally have to wait a further three months after the six wk period has expired.

    76. Lou Marginson says:

      Dear Marilyn
      Thank you for the blog. My husband and I have agreed a financial settlement with all paperwork signed off he didnt get a lawyer and has signed off the acknowledgement off service. It has now been going on since February and seems to be taking for ever and no word of the DN. We have been seperated for 5 years.

    77. Lou Marginson says:

      Dear Marilyn
      My husband has signed off the consent order for the finances, statement of truth and acknowledgement of service, he was also advised guess this is a standard statement from my lawyer to consult a solicitor and signed off the waiver form for the courts saying he did not want to be represented. Can he go back on any of this at this stage, I am waiting for my decree nisi to come through and as per my previous email seems to be taking forever as I countersigned and sent all the documentation back in June and have heard nothing since.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Lou
        The court doesn’t usually grant a divorce decree and approve orders by return. It can take several weeks because there are queues in the court and the staff and Judges have a lot of work to do.
        The Judge will consider the order he has been asked to make, and if he or she wants the parties to attend an direction will be made.

    78. sam says:

      Please help me with some of your wonderful advice My partners decree nisi was issued on the 02 august 2013 and she have applied degree of absolute 05 august 2013 how long she will get a degree of absolute and she is a petitioner thanks

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Sam
        Applying for Decree Absolute is straightforward and there should be a certificate issued by the Court to both parties virtually by return. Keep it in a safe place as you will need to produce it to remarry and also make a will.

    79. Andrew says:

      Hi Marilyn, I have been separated from my wife for 2 and a half years. I am British and live overseas regularly visiting my daughters from the marriage.
      I have a relatively high income and pay 1500 pounds per month maintenance (CSA Calculated) since day 1 of the move out and I have also been paying 550 pounds a month for the mortgage of the house that my ‘wife’ and daughters live in back in the UK. There is also a second property my ‘wife’ rents out and is the owner on the deeds aquired before marriage.
      We have the Decree Nisi done but now I have had no response to the previous 2 letters to her solicitor trying to agree a financial settlement, so much time had passed that my wifes solicitor asked for an updated declaration which I did. Each time this happens my savings are growing rapidly and I am concerned that it is purely a strategy of theirs to drag it out as long as possible to gain from my earnings whilst still being technically married… At what point in time does financial declaration expire and surely there must be a limit of time to agree financial settlement? The way I see it its in her interest to take as long as possible…
      I am applying for the Decree Absolute despite her Petitioning it based upon your advice above but financial settlement I cannot believe she can deliberate for so long for her gain…
      Any advice is appreciated 🙂

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Andrew
        If you want the financial side sorting out issue a Form A in the divorce proceedings and pay the fee. Then you will get it underway and time tabled by the court.
        You can argue that “post separation accrual” should be ring fenced from division. However the court will first consider her reasonable needs and those of the children along with your own.

    80. susan says:

      Hi I have received my nisi and await the date I can apply for the absoulute .can I apply to remarry before I have the document,as long as the date is after the 6 week period

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Susan
        You cannot remarry without Decree Absolute. You can certainly try and arrange a remarriage but I think its better to wait until you have it and then there are no worries or unnecessary costs incurred just in case (and there probably wont be) a last minute hitch.

    81. Naila says:

      Hello Marilyn,
      You seem to be rocking here. Got most of my answers from your blog. Just a small question. Me and my ex had a joint bank account. which i didnt even have a card to use in first place as he cancelled my bank cards when we started to think differently. he had the access to account and made it defaulted by 1600 pounds. I tried to convince him to pay half and that i will pay half. but he didnt agree as he said he is already paying me a lot(child allowance). So i paid it all. I just wanted to put smalls claim into court. Can i do so before i get Decree absolute? I am also wishing to remarry as soon i as i receive the DA. do i need to do it before or the amount is less and doesnt matter when i remarry? I moved out, applied for divorce. i have received decree nisi and will be applying for decree absolute soon.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Naila
        There is no link between suing someone in the County Court and divorce. Neither does it matter if you have a Decree Absolute. You could also make a financial claim in the divorce proceedings. Before you remarry do get some legal advice to check out all your potential claims against your ex are considered and if appropriate action is taken to ensure his claims against you too are closed off.
        As I make clear in this blog I can’t give you any specific legal advice only pointers and as you are going through a legal process please don’t assume you know the law, take your own legal advice about your own specific circumstances beforehand.

    82. Sarah says:

      Hi there please advise,
      My friend file a divorce few months ago. His wife hasn’t acknowledged the divorce papers to the court. Now months goes by she went to a solicitor and demand for money yet she has not replying or even acknowledging the documents. What should happen now with regards to by not signing tge the documents and return it . Where should my friend stand out niw? Would he have to wait for her to sign or apply again?
      Please advise.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Sarah
        If there is still a persistent default and she refuses to return the Acknowledgement of Service to the court, your friend should arrange to have the papers personally served upon her either by the court bailiff or an enquiry agent and include any costs into the application for costs of the divorce proceedings.

    83. Tanya says:

      My absolute was granted in April 2013. 2 weeks later my ex sold his business for a substantial amount and gave me a lump sum. I have no idea how much his business sold for but feel it is several millions. Do I need to take this back to court as his circumstances have significantly changed. Does a judge need to look at this and advise whether the amount he has given me is fair or should I leave well alone.
      Please advise

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Tanya
        Your question which involves potentially a multi million pound settlement cannot possibly be answered as it stands. You haven’t told me anything at all about your respective finances,nor your circumstances nor how the finances were sorted out whether by a court or not. So on that basis given I have nothing at all to work with, sorry it’s impossible.
        If you never got a financial settlement through a court order then I think you should certainly take immediate legal advice as to your position. If you had a settlement and were deliberately misled then potentially you could apply to set it aside. If you settled and got a court order because it was the easiest way out and didn’t get valuations then its trickier.
        Overall there is no substitute for personal legal advice. Please go and get some.

    84. Helen Mayoh says:

      The court was due to serve divorce papers on my husband this week. An occupation order stated he had to vacate by 19th July, he left on the 23rd, four months after receiving the initial letter. He had not been paying bills, cheques bounced, phone calls from his bank asking him to get in touch, but all were ignored. This, I couldn’t understand at the time, as he had received nearly £49,000 retirement money only 3 years before.I subsequently found out he was planning to vanish leaving me with all the mess, and the risk of the house being repossessed. Luckily, it seems I caught him just in time, and had to take over payment of bills, even though I work part time. I learned when he had been living by accident and was hoping papers would be served this week, but he has vanished again:even his family are shocked and disgusted at him, as I have had cancer twice, of which I am still recovering from the second operation. How do I stand? He didn’t turn up to the final occupation order hearing, has made no reply to my original statement, and financial disclosure made, as I found out he has a secret bank account. Even the judge at the final hearing was disgusted. I have 3 children and wonder what to do next, I have been constantly chasing my tail, keeping everyone who needsmto know up to date. He even owes money to the taxman.

    85. Judy says:

      Is it possible to remove a co-repondent’s name from a decree absolute before remarryingfor the 2nd time ?

    86. Devon says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      Thanks for the wealth of information found on your blog. It has definitely helped me a lot.
      I hold a decree nisi dated April 2012 and just one day before it was time to apply for the decree absolute, my ex wife applied for the decree absolute be stayed pending the outcome of financial matters. I allowed her all the time that she needed to have this resolved but never heard anything. I tried contacting her solicitors and they were also not forthcoming. I employed the services of mediators to help with sorting things out and i am pleased to say that it finally appears that we are getting somewhere (subject to her changing her mind at the 11th hour). Will i need to tell the court what took so long and at what point do i do this? would it be when i submit the consent order or now?
      Thanks and keep up the good work.
      God bless.

    87. David says:

      Hi Mariln, thank you for your previous advice. I have now appointed a solicitor from Stowe Family Law, I would like to know that, as a respondent in a divorce case, when can i or on what date can I apply for a decree absolute. It was filed in court on the 19th June and I just want to speed things up. The solicitor asked had i applied, which I hadn’t, as it was a DIY divorce on my part until now, so Is it worth me doing it to save time and if so how do I go about doing it?
      thanks in advance, David

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear David
        You must wait for three months after the six week one day waiting period is up, and the application must be made to the court. Let’s see if first our firm can persuade your wife to apply in the normal way or there may be a good reason for the delay. Im sure this will all be explained to you.

    88. Davi says:

      I applied for decree absolute 8 august 2013 I got decree nisi on 25 June 2013 .. Still waiting for decree absolute .. Payment been cleared on 16 aug .. How long it will take still ???

    89. Paul says:

      I received my decree nisi on August 8th 2013 and I realise that it will take 6 weeks before my decree absolute comes through my solicitor is dealing with my divorce do I have to take any steps to ensure the absolute comes through. My ex wife would not give me a clean break divorce as she knows that my father has left me all his estate approx £175,000 with just a gift of £10000 to her can she claim half of what he will leave me in the future. thank you

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Paul
        Could I suggest you download my book for 99p, (see the sidebar to this blog for the link) the proceeds will go to the Children’s Society. The 300 page book tells you far more than I can in this reply how a court will resolve financial cases giving a number of different examples. There is nothing to stop you sorting it out now if that hasn’t already happened and I suggest you do so.
        The court will be primarily interested to meet reasonable needs of you both and thereafter Inherited assets should be protected. If you are paying maintenance however there is a possibility of a claim for capitalisation in the future. See the book and also contact a good family solicitor for your own personal advice.

    90. davi says:

      where i should call ??? I called court on enquiry no with my case number but they havnt got any informatio updated on there system . even they don’t know when cheque been released .so m really confused .can you plz lemme know after cheque been cashed how long more for it . or what i do to know my case status .

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Davi
        You misunderstand me. If you really cant wait then find out when the court admin office is open and take your decree Nisi as a reference and go and find out what is happening. Don’t get too panicky, the court staff across the country are all generally under pressure so be patient. The courts are crammed with people’s cases. It may take a while but it will come!

    91. anna says:

      Hello! i have been dealing with my divorce for over 28 month due to the problems i had with the solicitors. I have got my decree nisi and I have applied for decree absolute on the 12th of July 2013 . Till now there has been no answer from the court. I have been yesterday to the court to ask what the problem is and the answer was because of the consent order my solicitor told me to sign it takes such a long time! my question is , is there anything i can do to get my divorce quicker? as i have booked an appointment at the registry office on 27.08.2013. Please give me some advice.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Anna
        It seems that the judge needs to approve the financial consent order and for some reason this is holding up the decree absolute. Probably they are in your file in a queue of files waiting to be dealt with. It’s not a good idea to arrange a remarriage before you have your decree absolute in your hand. I think it seems like you may just have to be patient until its your turn although you could ask the court to deal with the decree absolute separately as that doesn’t need a Judge’s approval.

    92. davi says:

      hii Marilyn my situation is same like Anna I want to get my wedding date as quicker as its possible cz my mother’s visa going to finish in uk very soon and I want my wedding before that . I tried to enquiry on family county court no. they haven’t got any details updated in system .they said they haven’t got my absolute decree form so I told them that I seen my bank statement and £45 cheque been released already and in my divorce case there was no children involve and no financial matter everything was clear .I don’t know why its taking so long ..m just wonder as you suggested me before that I can go straight court to ask my decree absolute if they haven’t got anything on system ..can they tell me anything if I will go straight to court … please help me

    93. Caroline says:

      Hi Sarah, long story made short ……. my husband left me for a woman he’d been having an affair with unbeknown to me for several years, this was in 1994 ! I had a small baby . He paid the mortgage plus more for bills etc and continued to for all these years . He is only 57 , but has just left the civil service after nearly 40 years – he was a top civil servant so has lots of money . He says he’s not retired just resting and that he’s on the dole, which suggests to me as ive always thought he would do consultancy work here and there for mega bucks. I on the other hand am a childminder and earn very little. He filed for divorce, paid off the mortgage and wants mediation for the finances . I just got a letter from the court to say the absolute will be made on 10th Sept. He’s been digging his heels in and has only just told me he can do mediation at the begining of Sept. I tried to make an appointment with a mediator back in may but shouted down by him that he was in a very high profile job and about to leave , he left on the 30th june. He’s indicated that ill get the house worth around £275-285, 000 but I cant earn enough to pay the bills,my money pays for food and general living expences . Im afraid that he wont give me enough to live on . He is a very clever , astute man who is also incidently a magistrate . He knows I can’t afford a solicitor and has refused to pay for any expenses I incur during this divorce . I think he will pay for mediation though, I’m worried he’s going to browbeat me at mediation. Does he have to declare all his assets to me ? What advise do you have for me please? Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to do this blog I’m really so very greatful. THANK YOU.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Caroline
        Legal aid is available for mediation. Don’t think you can’t afford a solicitor, from what you say this is a case where a solicitor should be able to work out an arrangement with you and potentially claim a sum for costs from him.
        Do go and see a good solicitor. You get one go at this, clearly you can’t deal with him yourself. How does he know what you will get? A magistrate is not usually a red hot trained divorce lawyer!

    94. Davi says:

      Thanku so much suggestion I went today court with my decree nisi copy and they gave me absolute decree nisi by hand straight way .. Before I dint know we can go straight court for enquiry thankuu

    95. Anna says:

      I desperately need help!!!
      I have been married for 13years, with five children 1 boy 13yrs and four girls 12, 11, 8 and 5 years.
      Due to lack of money and I do not work I have recently got in touch with an arbitrator so I could come to a mutual agreement and we could both talk to one person plus less cost , i assumed he would want to contribute towards the cost but no, he doesn’t. So like always I started to scrape money from my benefits and have contacted him via this arbitrator . With my first proposal to final settlement he has not agreed and has it as his final offer (take it or leave it)
      My arbitrator is saying I should either pay £290 court fees and apply for a “judges direction” or I should accept his final offer as a “worse” case scenario and accept the consent Oder to be written up by my arbitrator hoping that the judge won’t accept it and will call us in as to why I’ve accepted it. Hopefully if this happens then I have the opportunity to express to the judge that I’ve gone through domestic violence all these years , he’s always held the cards and what he says goes , all I want us a divorce and I have no other way to cme to ageement with him, as Iv e been trying to divorce since 2010 I keep on going back to him and think it’ll get better and for the sake of five children Id go through the pain , plus I run out of money and cannot purse the divorce case.
      After saying these few sentences I’m hoping the jus de should say he will tell “us ” both what to do etc etc and this will give us a slightly cheaper way to come to see the judge face to face and a settlement . Please can you help me as to which option would be best . I have 3 houses sole in my name and 1 house joint in our both names . He has 2 houses in his sole name all these houses have negative equity except for one in my name that has a minimum £80k when sold . He has two businesses but he’s chanted them to his friends and family’s name over a year ago, plus the houses that are under my his relatives are living there and his gets the rental income , always has I’ve never handled these properties even thou they are in my name , he likes to be in control of everything .
      Please email ASAP
      My current house I’m living in , he has stopped paying the mortgage and is in process of being repossessed , should I also apply for a adjustment order or something from the court please please shed me some light
      Kind regards Anna

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Anna
        Once again I just don’t understand what you’ve written. I think you are seeing a mediator, not an arbitrator and the mediation isn’t working. You can apply to the court if so. Mediation only works if both of you agree what there is and fully understand your options. If not go to court.
        Please, do take good legal advice from a solicitor who can advise just you what is best for you.

    96. Nicky says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      My husband is the petitioner, we are now waiting for decree absolute, however he is yet to submit a financial disclosure. I have had to update mine twice as he has gone very quiet.
      He is in another relationship therefore I do not understand why he is dragging his heals? Is there anyway I can turn things around in order to gain control?
      He has made it clear before that he doesn’t wish to give me anything I am entitled to.
      He has just left the RAF following a very long career.
      We both have two grown children who barely hear from him either.
      Many thanks

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Nicky
        You don’t give me any time scales or tell me what’s happening in the proceedings. Are all the assets battened down?
        It may be nothing or it may be something. Has he just come into his pension lump sum? Is he buying a property with his girlfriend using it? Check the pension information is accurate and any lump sum is protected.
        I stress though, this is all speculation but if you’ve twice updated your financial information it seems as though this has been going on for a long time. Isn’t it in court yet? Hurry it up if you can.

    97. holly johnson says:

      Hi hilary
      im currently going through a divorce and im recieving legal aid. Im just wondering how my legal aid would be affected if i moved in with my boyfriend? Even though ive signed the divorce papers and am happy with the information stated from ny ex partner… What other costs will come up? Just incase im not liable for legal aid anymore.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Holly
        You have a duty to report a change in your financial circumstances. Ask your solicitor who will advise you about how this will affect not only your legal aid and future costs, but also the impact on your case.

    98. sharon says:

      do you have to attend court personally with the application for absolute

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Sharon
        If you are the petitioner and are applying after decree nisi, then no you don’t. If you are the Respondent and applying because the Petitioner wont, then yes you probably will have to do so.

    99. Nicky says:

      Hello again,
      Thank you very much for your reply. Reference the following questions that you asked me…
      (1. You don’t give me any time scales or tell me what’s happening in the proceedings.)… My husband first filed for divorce in August 2012. Unfortunately the solicitor at the time had put down my address as where he was residing when in fact we were separated, he did not live with me and has never paid anything towards my house which I pay the mortgage for. I have since changed my solicitor. This was done in November 2012 at the same time the acknowledgement from court came.
      (2. Are all the assets battened down? )… I don’t understand this question?
      (3. It may be nothing or it may be something. Has he just come into his pension lump sum?) … He left the RAF in March this year, and has received a gratuity.
      (4. Is he buying a property with his girlfriend using it?) … Not sure, but possible. He is currently commuting until he can buy near to where he now works.
      (5.Check the pension information is accurate and any lump sum is protected)…is this the role of my solicitor, and presume they are doing this?
      (6. I stress though, this is all speculation but if you’ve twice updated your financial information it seems as though this has been going on for a long time)…September 2012.
      (7. Isn’t it in court yet? )… yes my husband has the power to apply for absolute now before finances have been settled.
      Will he get away without pension sharing?
      Thankyou Marilyn

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Nicky
        You need to ask all these questions of your solicitor. The assets should all be there at the hearing to be apportioned and not be disposed of in the meantime. The pension should be properly valued so it can be shared between you.
        Your worries should be considered by your solicitor and dealt with. What you want should be discussed between you and your solicitor. In short its not me you should be contacting. You are paying for this job to be done, so don’t hesitate to contact your solicitor and if necessary, ask for a conference with a barrister if one is to represent you at the hearing.
        Finally you should consider with your solicitor applying to stop the decree being made absolute if you are going to lose out on automatic widows benefits that cannot be replaced out of the assets in the event of your husband’s death prior to a financial settlement being effected.

    100. ian mcclatchey says:

      Hi maryln. I got my decree nisi on 16 Jan 2013. My solicitor acting on my behalf has tried unsuccessfully since then to obtain my ex wife’s pension info etc in order to complete the financial settlement. Due to his assurances the decree absolute would be issued 6 weeks after the nisi I arranged to marry my new partner on 8th November. I had to swear in an affridavid today which he will submit to court. He says it will be the masters decision whether to issue the DA or not as we still don’t have my ex wife’s financial info. Do you think there will be an issue with the DA? What rights do I have if this is not issued as it was after my solicitors advice we organised our wedding. I’m in northern Ireland in case the law is different here.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Ian
        I think its always a big mistake to book a wedding without the piece of paper actually in your hand. I don’t know what the Judge will do, over here in England there has to be a very good reason to hold up the Decree Absolute, e.g. a financial benefit lost as a result of DA that cannot be compensated out of the remaining assets; or the loss of an interest in a Trust by no longer being a spouse.

    101. Nicky says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      Thankyou for taking the time to give me your advice.
      I do have little faith in my solicitor, the second one too. Its such bad luck to keep finding ones that are not up to scratch. Its too late to change again I feel. Hence asking advice from you. However I will plug at it.
      Thankyou once again

    102. Ann says:

      Dear Marilyn
      Your site has given me so much comfort to realise so many people are in the same position as me.
      My situation is similar to Nicky. Having petitioned for divorce over two years ago my husband has procrastinated over all financial declarations. The only asset is my pension but he is not communicating with his solicitor to get an independent valuation done. I have been waiting 4 months following the order from the ancillary relief hearing.
      In the beginning I wanted us to save our marriage of 30+ years but I now want it over. I am so frustrated that as the Respondent I will not get the absolute granted because finances are not settled.
      How long can he refuse to cooperate? Will the decree nisi ever become invalid ?
      Kind regards

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Ann
        You can apply to the court for the Decree to made Absolute three months after the six week one day period from the grant of Decree Nisi has elapsed.

    103. Kathy says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      I have filed as petitioner to dissolve our civil partnership in May and our conditional order was made final two weeks ago and therefore dissolved. In the final order we only have notes regards to any will or appointment of guardian. We haven’t signed any financial agreements and we don’t have any mutual properties or joint accounts. My ex partner had financial debt and my friends suggest I should sign a financial agreement that leaves me out of any responsibilities now or in future. I am really confused as if whether I need to sign any such agreement now?
      What happens if I buy any new property after our dissolution or in case my partner looses her job and asks for financial help- will I be liable in future to pay her maintance? Please advise if I need to resolve now even though we are legally separated? We were both trying to save money by not going to solicitors.
      I appreciate your help and guidance
      Kind regards,

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Kathy
        It is usually sensible to have your respective financial claims against the other closed off formally. You will need to complete a Form A and a draft order with details of your respective financial positions for dismissal purposes by the court. You can certainly do it yourselves if you wish, provided you both agree. If she wont then its probably worth getting a solicitor to advise you. Alternatively as it seems straightforward an online service might be worth considering.

    104. Margaret says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      My daughter’s decree absolute came through at the end of July. The court awarded her costs but her ex husband hasn’t paid them and she says is unlikely to do so. Can he refuse to pay ? Could it mean a further battle and more legal expenses? I would value your advice. Thank you
      Kind regards, Margaret

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Margaret
        If he wont pay the costs then she must go to court to have the bill assessed, which presumably will be done by her solicitors. They can add the costs of so doing into the bill. The court will then assess the figure and then it will be enforced as a debt in the usual way – usually by court bailiffs. She needs to discuss this with her solicitors as to whether it is cost effective or not.

    105. Margaret says:

      Many thanks for clarifying that Marilyn, I will pass it on to my daughter
      Kind regards

    106. Marie says:

      Hi Marilyn
      I hope you can give me some advice please. My financial relief order was sorted over a month ago, which ordered my husband to pay all the costs for selling the former matrimonial home, which is nearly complete, as we still do not have decree absolute (not been applied for by either side), would this mean I would be liable for half the costs for selling the property?

    107. Kathy says:

      Thank you Marilyn,
      Where would you advise me to find the form A or online services.I have a form D081 is that the same form? Once we sign the form, do I have to send it to the same court we had our CP dissolved?
      Many thanks fro your advice and support
      Kind regards,

    108. Kathy says:

      Thank you Marilyn,
      That is very useful. I am looking for a form where we are going to sign a “clean-break” that none of the parties will ask anything from the other party. Does the “Financial Remedy” forms actually relate to that agreement? I apologize for asking again, but all these “legal” forms and phrases confuse me even more.
      Kind regards,

    109. Ann says:

      Dear Marilyn, Could you throw some light on the date my son can apply for his Absolute. His Decree Nisi was granted on 13th May but his wife hasn’t applied for the Absolute. You mention above 3 months, would that be 3 calendar months or 12 weeks. She also still hasn’t sent through the financial statement although they did agree on what he would pay her (lump sum of £6k). All her furniture and personal stuff is still in the house (they separated Jan 2012), is there an “official” time limit he can ask her to move it out. Many thanks.

    110. Marie says:

      If court order for general form of order – ancillary relief says ‘ It is hereby ordered subject to decree absolute that’ and then goes on to say what was ordered, does it mean that it does not come in to force until decree absolute is given? Also I have only just read it properly and Judge did not say it was subject to decree absolute, but that was 6/7 weeks ago, is there anything I can do about this, or is this normal practise. Thank you for any help you can give me.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Marie
        A court order doesn’t take effect until decree absolute so if it hasn’t been applied for, then it needs to happen.

    111. eva says:

      Dear maryliyn,my partner has been trying to get a divorce for a marriage conducted in Africa.he needs a marriage certificate to file in,but all efforts to get to his wife is frustrating.The solicitors have written,no response,.She refusedto attend mediation.I really don’t know what to do.Please help as I need to get married since I have 3 kids with him already.My partner and his wife had a daughter and he hs not seen this child for about close to 5 years since the split.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Eva
        Your partner should make his own enquiries about the marriage certificate and make efforts to get hold of one. He should start perhaps by contacting the relevant Embassy in London. He can issue a petition if so advised and in some cases can get the court’s permission to lodge the marriage certificate when it is obtained. He can also apply for a financial settlement and take it forward.

    112. Steve says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      Firstly a big thank you for hosting such a blog – I’m sure it makes many of us feel that there is someone who cares enough to help…especially when we see money and hope slowly flowing out of our hands!
      Quick question – is there any straight forward way to provide a financial / legal guarantee between the Petitioner and Respondent for the period between Decree Absolute being granted and a Pension sharing Order / Financial Order being finalised which states that if the Respondent dies before financial settlement, the appropriate share of the deceased’s pension can be promised to the Petitioner ?
      This would be to cover the highly unlikely (but still possible) chance of death between Decree Absolute and final financial settlement.
      Appreciate any advice. Thanks Steve

    113. Veronica says:

      I petitioned for divorce in June 2012 and had to have the papers served. The decree nisi was granted in December 2012. We reached a clean break agreement in May 2013 following mediation and legal advice. The consent order was submitted to the court by my ex’s solicitor. The judge queried the order and requested a response from my ex. He has used this as an opportunity to demand further money from me and won’t agree to respond to the query until I agree the sum that he has requested. As the order has not been sealed what are my options and can my ex go back on what we had originally agreed. How long can he drag things out ?
      Many thanks for a very useful blog. I’m feeling very stressed as this situation has been going on for more than three years and comments from others are very useful.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Veronica
        I think from what you write that your ex is legally bound by the agreement he has made with you, signed and submitted to court through his own solicitor. What I don’t know is what the query was the Judge has made and how this impacts on the agreement. So I think you need to apply back to the Judge and tell him what has happened and ask him to make the order in the agreed terms or on such terms that enables the agreement to be implemented.

    114. Maria says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      Firstly your blog is excellent. I hope you can help me, I petitioned for divorce from my husband earlier this year as a follow on to his unreasonable behaviour over many years and I moved out of our matrimonial home with our daughter at end of last year (2012). The decree nisi was given on 30th April 2013 and ever since then I have been trying to come to some sort of financial agreement with him prior to applying for the DA. The house is in joint names and I would like to move back into the house with my daughter once the divorce has been completed. To date, all my efforts towards a reasonable agreement have been in vain – my husband has been in denial about the whole divorce issue from the start and refuses to move out of the house. He has had very little contact with our child – he has never asked to see her. It has always been my daughter who has asked to see her father on the rare occassion. I have been advised to go to mediation but i do not think we will acheive much as he has refused to go (saying he can not afford mediators or solicitors).
      My question is – can he apply for the DA without the financial settlement being in place?.
      Any advice you can give me would be very welcome.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Maria
        What follows is only general advice based on what you write. It looks as though you need to make an application to the court for a financial settlement and apply for the property to be transferred to you plus spousal maintenance, pension share, lump sum order. A court will decide what you both reasonably need. You will need to complete a Form A and pay the court fee and the court will then make an order to get the case moving. You can download my book for further details from the side bar of this blog.
        If you have petitioned for divorce the earliest he could apply is three months after the expiry of the six week one day period from Decree Nisi. He will need to make an application to the Judge in chambers for Decree Absolute and you will have to explain why you oppose it. I think a Judge will need some evidence as to why it should not be made – what will you automatically stand to lose if you don’t have a settlement in place?
        So my overall view from what you write is you need to move things on. Go and see a solicitor and get some personal advice about your specific circumstances and decide how best to proceed.

    115. Veronica says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      Thank you for your advice earlier. In the response letter sent to my ex’s solicitor the judge acknowledges that the capital of both parties is equal prior to the divorce and questions ‘what will be the effect on them both of the proposals?’ In the clean break agreement I keep the family home for myself and three young adult children (two in f/t education) and take over the mortgage and my ex keeps our properties abroad. It is approximately a 60/40 split in my favour.
      My solictor has responded to the demand for further funds from my ex but not to the judge (as he was not written to directly). Can I write to the judge independent of my solicitor? – I’m desperate to get things moving as my mortgage offer expires at the end of this month.
      Thank you again for your helpful advice and speedy response.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Veronica
        I think from what you write, that given your husband’s default its your solicitor who should be responding to the court, explaining the net effect and asking for the order to be made in terms of the agreement. It’s not clear from what you write why there is a problem.
        However I can’t be sure as I don’t have the papers. You need to tell your solicitor how you are feeling, your concern about the possible lapse of the mortgage offer and about the inaction and that you want this order made. They are representing you and on the face of it (and I stress I don’t know the whole picture) shouldn’t permit a protracted delay.

    116. Sam says:

      Dear Marilyn
      Could you give me some advice. My divorce has come through and the absolute is sat at my solicitors office (they failed to tell me it had arrived as my solicitor is away) had I have known I would have removed my property last week. I had a Homes rights notice in place and my wife who is obviously more aware of the situation changed all the door locks on the house (its in her name) with all my belongings in the house save for a bag of clothes she left at our local pub. I have tried but we have not yet sorted out financial matters, my wife made an offer which I accepted but I have still had no correspondence from her solicitor (I struggle to get any communication out of her solicitor) I have given her a list of the contents I want from the house twice but still to no avail.
      I need the settlement for rent and some furnishing for my next home and at present I am technically homeless, how can my wife hold all my possessions and settlement what can I do?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Sam
        It is unlawful to remove a person from his home, without his agreement or a court order. No one can simply be unilaterally evicted. Also if the house constitutes part of your respective finances, then you may have a claim over it and what should happen is that one notice is replaced by another in relation to the on going financial proceedings in the divorce, which I assume are under way. This will then protect your interest and will ensure the property cannot be sold or further charged.
        I think you should speak to your solicitors about your right to remain in the family home and see if they can get you back in pending settlement.

    117. janet says:

      Hi Can my husband insist on me giving him DVD’s that were a gift to me from him. they are of our children growing up and I so not wish his current partner to view these personal times. I have agreed he can view them but I do not want the contents viewed elsewhere. Can he hold up the divorce because of this?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Janet
        You or he could easily get copies made. I understand your reservations and Im sure you are very raw, but the same could be said of who you show to also. They are his children too.
        I don’t see how this issue can affect a divorce. Please don’t let this affect you.

    118. Wal says:

      Dear Marilyn
      Could you give me some advice, please. My divorce has nearly come through and the I will apply for the absolute on 19/9/2013, but I contact my ex-wife solicitor for clean break consent, no hearing form them so far.
      we dot have any thing financial between us and no children so do I need to do any thing before I apply for the absolute .
      Many Thanks

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Wal
        If it is straightforward then it might be worthwhile using an online divorce service to prepare and obtain a consent order. I can’t recommend one. If it isn’t, go and see a solicitor, who will advise you more fully with all the facts.

    119. Paul says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      My partner is in the process of getting divorced. The petition has reached her ex and he has responded to her saying that he has received it and my solicitor has said we can use a d13b form to send to the courts using the message as confirmation that he has received the petition. Does the form d13b have a fee and how long does it take for the courts to either accept or decline it so that I can apply for decree nisi?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Paul
        Form D13b is an application to dispense with service on the Respondent, but in your partner’s case the Respondent has been served. The question is how she satisfies the court as to service on her husband.
        Her husband has 8 days to return the Acknowledgement of Service and can be encouraged by your partners solicitor to do so, or he may have to pay the increased costs, and then she can apply for Decree Nisi. If the message she received from her ex acknowledging receipt was an e mail, she may be able to go straight ahead and apply for Decree Nisi and in her Affidavit of support she can include the e mail message as proof of service. However if the message was not written down and there is no tangible form of proof, then she has to serve her again, via either the Court Bailiff or, a quicker but more expensive route is to do so via an enquiry agent.

    120. Paul says:

      Sorry …He is refusing to sign the acknowledgment and the petition now

    121. Paul says:

      The message she received from him was an email which can be used in court . Is the d13b form a long process and will it cost me extra? The 8 days has lapsed for him to respond to the courts and the 21 days from the acknowledgement email ends tomorrow.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Paul
        Your partner can apply for Decree Nisi and amend the Affidavit in support producing the email as proof of service together with any other relevant correspondence, if the Judge isn’t satisfied as to service he will say so and direct personal service on the Respondent.
        Alternatively if she wishes to be absolutely sure she can arrange for personal service as I suggested earlier.

    122. Robert says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      I am separated for nearly 5 years now but after a year of being separated my wife and I entered into a Matrimonial agreetment (through our solicitors) which covered the division of all financial assets etc. The advice at the time from my solicitor was that this takes all the pain out of a divorce down the line and when we could legally apply for it. So last year i started the procedure to obtaining my decree absolute and full divorce. eventually my wife responded but instead of being simple and painless her “new” solicitors are currently applying for legal aid in order to issue ancillary relief proceedings. So my understanding now is that her side is claiming that our matrimonial contract is null and void. there was full disclosure at the time with noting hidden, can you advise on whether you think the initial contract to be binding or if they are within their rights to this. I am desperate to close this chapter in my life and finally move on so I cant undestand how this can be happening now.
      Your thoughts would be appreciated.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Robert
        I think you should breathe easy. If you made an agreement and full frank honest complete disclosure occurred at the time through solicitors, then it will be very, very difficult for her to get out of it if at all.
        I don’t know how she is going to get legal aid when its been abolished for all except domestic violence cases and frankly if I were you Id make an application to the court for an order to be made in terms of the agreement.
        Go and see a solicitor for your own specific legal advise based on your full instructions.

    123. Louise says:

      Today is the hearing for my Decree Nisi. My husband has advised that he is not going to stop the divorce going through but I’m still worried I won’t get the divorce that I need.
      Is there anyway he can stop the divorce now?
      We have no children or financial matters.

    124. Robert says:

      Thanks Marilyn, I should have mentioned we are in Northern Ireland, so the legal aid may work differently. I have already tried to make the agreement an order of court but the other side blocked it, sighting reasons of non payment and non full disclosure of accounts, which isn’t true on both counts. My solicitor thinks they where trying to buy time for some other reason but I’ve no idea what it could be.

    125. Clarissa says:

      My partner is going through a tough divorce. His wife committed adultery 9 years ago and my partner was told to leave the marital home 6 years ago (he only discovered the affair 6 years ago). He left for the sake of the children and has behaved all along in a dignified manner. Since then partner has rented a small house near marital home so children (16 and 18) can stay and visit. Stage is now sorting out finances so decree absolu can be granted. I do not live with my partner. His wife moved her boyfriend in as soon as my partner left his house. Problem centres around finances. Wife wants to sell marital home and keep 65% of the proceeds leaving my partner with only 35%. She also wants a big chunk of his teacher’s pension. My partner is to retire in 2 and a half years. My partner is considering going to court as he is totally stunned by the unfairness of his situation. The two children are well adjusted and happy. They are not aware that the reason for the break up was their mother’s affair. My partner feels that his current solicitor doesn’t have enough bite. Everytime my partner telephones, sends an email or letter, it costs a great deal and his funds are now very low. To go to court he is prepared to borrow money. Currently he pays almost £1,000 in rent per month, half the mortgage plus maintenance for the children. Though in a good job, by the end of the month he has nothing left. He feels his wife is fleecing him and treating him as a fool when all along he was the innocent party. Do you think it would help to speak to another solicitor? I found one who deals specifically in family law. In addition advice about going to court would be appreciated. It is so tough to witness all this. His wife and boyfriend (who pays nothing to live in the marital house and the wife denies he does, whereas we have evidence that he has been living there for years) go on holidays abroad with the children. My partner cannot afford holidays. Where they live, property is equivalent to London prices so there is no way my partner could buy a house. The twist is that he bought his first house in his twenties for security. She is younger (7 years) and works as a full time teacher. My partner is worried sick and for the first time in his life feels totally insecure. Thanks. Clarissa

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Clarissa
        It would be wrong to comment on the case as I do not have sufficient information. What I can say, is that it is very important to have confidence in your legal team. If your partner isn’t happy, then he should either have his doubts fully dealt with until he is happy, or change solicitors. I have generally found in other areas, that if I’m not happy with the service provided and explain why great efforts are made to make me happy!

    126. Sharon says:

      Over 3 weeks ago i requested my solicitor to apply for the absolute. Should i hear soon? Also, the proceeds from the sale of our house are now held in a solicitors acct waiting to be agreed. What is the process should an agreement not be met in a few months of toing and froing?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Sharon
        There may be a delay in the court admin office in issuing the Decree Absolute. Sometimes it is possible to go along to the court office and they may issue it. As for finances I have no idea what could be causing a delay, there could be any number of reasons, so please, ask your solicitor to explain in writing what the delay is and how it is going to be sorted out.

    127. Ann says:

      I have a question about a financial settlement. After several attempts and varied and increasing demands, I have agreed to my husbands (third!) settlement amount for our divorce. I am now waiting for him to sign off the papers to submit to court but despite agreeing to his demands, he won’t sign – this is so frustrating as I have agreed to what he wanted and don’t understand why he would now want to delay. I don’t want to go to court, but what time limits are in place when both parties have agreed to the settlement but one then won’t sign?
      I feel it is just out of spite but surely there must be a time limit on this?
      Kind regards

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Ann,
        It is simple really. If he won’t proceed, you should but for the full amount. Tell him and give him 7 days. Then do it. See a solicitor and get on with it, seeking all the extra costs from him.

    128. Veronica says:

      Hello Marilyn, i have great problem , my husband live in Spain and i was living with him before now im living in London since 2 years and i applied for divorce with a solicitor, we sent to him all papers, also the court sent him aknowlg he didnt respond, because he changed home adress and now i don’t know anything about him,
      how it will be the procedure ?? , i don’t know how i can serve him the divorce solicitude, i’m Romanian and he is from Morrroco he live in Spain and i live in London, we do not have children’s and we do not have any financial settlement,
      you think that i will take my divorce without serving him ?? how it will take time to get my divorce ??
      judge will accept my divorce ?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Veronica
        Your solicitor can apply to the court for an order “to dispense with service” on your husband after all enquiries have been made to trace him and failed.

    129. Jennifer says:

      Hi Marlyn,
      I left my husband 3 months ago after 11 years of marriage. I mostly stayed at home once we had children but worked a few hours here and there. My husband has applied for a divorce and wants it to go through quickly. I took out debts in my name when i was home with the baby which he has agreed to pay as they were to consolidate his debt and I agreed that we can write up a financial agreement to state that he will pay them. Now he says we can’t do that until there is a decree nisi. Is that true. I’m scared that I will agree to a quick divorce and then once he has the decree nisi he will back out of paying them. I have no money and he knows this so I can’t take legal advice, I am trying hard to get an appointment with the CAB but until then I just have to take his word for everything. We still own a house that he doesn’t want to sell as there is very little equity and he won’t buy me out. I am still trapped and I don’t know what to do.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Jennifer
        Don’t confuse getting a divorce with getting a financial settlement. They are dealt with separately. On Decree Nisi the court has power to make final orders and implement them from Decree Absolute.On divorce you can apply for maintenance for yourself and child support for your children. You can also apply for a range of capital orders including a transfer of property order and a lump sum and pension share. He can agree in the order to discharge the debts as well. It doesn’t sound to me as though you’ve thought through exactly what you do need and I think you need to take legal advice rather than rely on him and you need to ensure the order is correctly drafted. Many solicitors offer free legal advice if you cant afford to see a solicitor.
        You can also download my 350 page book for 99p from the side bar of this blog, which will give you much more information about your entitlements and the process.
        Don’t do anything without your own legal advice, then you can act with confidence. Although many people don’t think they can afford a solicitor, you wont know for sure until you approach a local firm and ask them.

    130. Jay says:

      Hi Marilyn
      I have been separated for 12months and am currently living with a new partner in her house. i am still paying half of the mortgage on the family home where my ex lives with the children and child maintanence cost ..agreed by both of us.
      The decree nisi has gone through and a decree absolute served. i haven’t used a solicitor and received a consent order regarding the financial split which i will be asking for slight amendments on and have agreed to split financially.
      While this is happening i am buying a new house with my partner which has an 85% mortgage , the deposit was from proceeds off new partners house sale and a loan from my father .
      I am worried that she may be able to claim ..
      Many thanks
      …partner.Does my ex have any claim on this as there is an ………………..rtner .does my ex have any claim o…..n this house .it is an 85% mortgage and the deposit was used from the sale of my current partners home and a loan

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Jay
        Why don’t you go and get some personal legal advice when you and your local solicitor can advise you. I’m not dodging the issue, its just that on the very few facts you’ve given I cant give you an answer. You could download my 350 page easy to read book on the side bar of this blog for 99p all proceeds to The Children’s Society, which gives you a great deal of detail and will assist you when you see your solicitor which I strongly suggest you do before signing anything.

    131. Lindsey says:

      I am trying to find out if divorce papers can be served at my ex’s place of work. It is clear that there is no intent of these papers being returned voluntarily. I know the address where all correspondence is sent is where they are registered on the electoral register, but I cannot prove that they actually LIVE there. However, I do know the employer and place of work. I am hoping this will be possible?

    132. alan says:

      i want to apply for decree absolute.there is no financial setelment has some assets and i may apply for i loose my share in her assets or maintance or is it only part of her maintinance .and would submitting form for finicial settelment before or after has any implication.

    133. Julie says:

      Can the petitioner apply for absolute after respondent has done so and a hearing date been set ? And if the hearing has to go ahead do both parties have to attend?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Julie
        I suggest the petitioner contacts the respondent and indicates he or she agrees to decree absolute being granted, tries to agree there are no costs of the application and notifies the court accordingly asking the court to order accordingly.

    134. Neil says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      Hoping you might be able to help. My girlfriend initiated her divorce and she has since received her decree nisi. Her solicitor has tired to contact her exe’s solicitor in terms of a consent order. They have no assets between them, although she does have two children from a previous relationship, although she is not asking for any maintenance payments towards them. The only aspect she is asking is to repay 50% of the joint overdraft debt they have (around £2k) and contribute to debt that’s in her name (due to his credit history). He has not responded to any other letters for the past 6 months and we are are wondering if she is entitled to apply for the decree absolut, knowing that he also wants to remarry someone else, is this likely to affect any future claim she may try and make. Her lawyer is also quite hard to work with, as they just keep charging for work, but nothing seems to materialise.
      Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Our idea is for her to apply for the Decree Absolut, then due to his lack of response, raise a civil claim for the debt and also go to the CSA regarding Child Maintenance (which wasn’t a consideration initially)..
      Kind regards

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Neil
        If she initiated the divorce she could apply for DA six weeks and one day after decree Nisi.If she didn’t she has to wait a further twelve weeks from the six week one day period.
        As to her options she has a lawyer, if she isn’t happy change lawyers. I don’t want to step on someone else’s toes. But I’m not happy about the lack of progress in what isn’t on the face of it a difficult case. It needs satisfactorily ending.

    135. Mike says:

      Thanks for the advice Marilyn, although you wouldn’t be stepping on anyone’s toes. The lawyers don’t do any work without payment of bills, they continually send bills after periods of time claiming work has been done for letters and emails, although still nothing seems to materialise. So she has decided to apply for the DA herself and she is also going to ‘fire’ the lawyers.
      If she applies for the DA and then subsequently (a month or so later) decides to apply for a consent order (primarily aimed at the joint overdraft debt) and if the ex remarries, does this mean he avoids it or is he still responsible as well?
      I agree this does seem quite simple and I don’t understand why he’s being so difficult as she is not asking for much and wasn’t even discussing child maintenance until now..

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Mike
        She can apply for a lump sum order against him to recoup what she owes if she wishes or she could sue him if she can prove its a civil debt. Maintenance payments do end on remarriage and also the ability to make an application for a financial capital settlement may be affected by remarriage, if the application is not made prior to the remarriage, by a respondent to the original petition.

    136. Ang says:

      Hi Marilyn , can petitioner in divorce just use form d36 to obtain decree absolute ( out of time ) and a statement? ( nisi was in 2008) thank you

    137. Chris R says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      I am 3 weeks into the DN and DA stage. We have agreed the financials and I was hoping in 3 weeks and a day I’ll be legally divorced and all financial issues would be settled. Today i received a text from my soon to be ex wife that she cannot afford to pay her solicitors anymore and she is going to tell her to stop working on her behalf. What can I do in this situation. If she is ok with it, can I deliver her directly any further legal docs that need signing from now on, eliminating any future costs from her legal team?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Chris
        There is no reason why both of you can’t finish the case off together if she agrees otherwise you may need a court order.
        Applying for DA, if the petitioner is simply done by completing a form and lodging it with a cheque for the court fee. If the petitioner is your wife and she won’t do it, you have to wait a further three months after the six week period and the application must be to the judge.
        A draft financial order can also be lodged with the court, signed by both of you with a completed financial application for dismissal purposes a cheque and a statement of information form about your respective finances, all which probably should be done prior to DA:- you both need to check.
        A thought:- why don’t you agree to split your wife’s costs to get it done and reduce the hassle?

    138. Paul says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      Thanks for your time doing this blog. It is a godsend!
      My wife is alcoholic and refused to address the alcohol or her abusive behaviour. I separated last year, taking our youngest (now 16, the eldest is 20) with me. The mediators (recommended by her lawyer) then suggested I allow her to divorce me on a ‘tame wording’ so all the costs could be paid for by her legal aid (My net pay is about twice hers but she didn’t get legal aid anyway). I agreed at first but then felt I was being railroaded, so I wrote to the mediators, my wife and her lawyers saying I no longer wanted to do this but, as they had already agreed it amongst themselves, she petitioned a week or so later anyway. We now have nisi but no financial settlement. After years of her drinking we have about the same pensions but no other property or money.
      I am told she has no case for ‘spousal maintenence’ from me and the CSA are already making her pay something for my daughter. Her lawyers are now silent and I fear she will now just refuse to apply for absolute unless I pay her enough to let me go free.
      If I apply for absolute myself, after three more months, am I open to her suing me for money if I manage to get back on my feet financially? If I remarry someone with a property, would a new wife be at financial risk from my ex?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Paul
        Decree Absolute is separate from finances. Your ex has no financial claims against your new wife. You might be best off by applying to terminate your respective claims against each other but see your own solicitor for personal advice.

    139. Nigel says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      I am in a situation where:
      – My wife petitioned 3 years ago
      – Decree NISI was issued in August 2011
      – Contact and finance orders were issued in March 2013
      And my ex-wife has not issued the application for decree absolute despite having regularly chased her over the past months and weeks, arguing that she did not have time. I have sent her an ultimatum stating that if it is not done within 3 days , I will apply my-self. She replied that it is a threat and that she will bring before the judge the evidence of my constant harassment (please note that I have always been polite).
      What is the risk for me?
      I have another question: contact order was kind of too specific and set on the basis of state school holidays schedule. Now our child goes to another private school whose holiday’s pattern is different with for instance longer summer holidays and she does not want to revisit the arrangement on the basis of the implicit underlying principle (1/2 of school holidays) which was not explicitly written. She does not want to budge. What can I do? Is it likely that a judge would revisit the contact schedule on the basis of this ‘underlying’ principle?
      Many thanks

    140. Den says:

      If you’ve signed the paperwork and it’s been received by the court and sent out to their solicitors early September, how long should it take to get a Decree Nisi?
      Husband is living with his fiancee for the last two years but the divorce seems to have slowed down. I left him in 2010 because of his cheating ways. I was unable to get him to sign paperwork I raised in Jan 2011. Yet it was only this year he decided to file for divorce against me under two years separation.
      I called the court to find out what’s happening and so far paperwork sent out in September has not been sent back to process the divorce further. It’s been 3 years this December we’ve been livng apart.
      Is there anything that can be done as its well over 12 weeks? Is there a time line to get the paperwork sorted or is there anything I can do to push this on ?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Den
        It seems that you must be the Respondent and he is the Petitioner and he isn’t applying for Decree Nisi. You could apply for his petition to be dismissed and you can then issue a petition based upon his unreasonable behaviour. You will only need to serve him, you wont need his consent for it to proceed. Write and tell him first and say you are going to apply also for all the wasted costs to be paid by him (if there are any) if he doesn’t apply for Decree Nisi straight away. If you can afford it, get a solicitor to write on your behalf. This should make him sit up and pay attention if he thinks hes going to have to pay solicitors!

    141. Dorothy says:

      I have today received a letter stating that there is no trace of my marriage. A decree nisi was issued in 1995. I am due to remarry next February.

    142. SAIF ALI says:

      The Blog has been extremely helpful. My question is simple; Decree Nisi has been issued; Financial Arrangement has been Agreed and Signed; Now awaiting the Decree Absolute; Once the Decree Absolute has been served and issued; does the Respondent has to wait for any period before can re-marry or can re-marry within a period of 1-2 months?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Saif
        There is no divorce related reason why with a Decree Absolute you cannot remarry. Check with the Registrar in relation to notice of intention to marry. Remember that a Will is revoked on remarriage unless it expressly states it is made in contemplation of marriage.

    143. SAIF ALI says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      Thanks for your response to my last query; Please can I request you to throw some light on the below and after this I’ll not pester you with anymore queries; Please remember I am the Respondent;
      1. In my case Decree Nisi was pronounced in August 2013 and in first week of October 2013 the 6 Weeks Period Expired after which DA can be applied – My wife applied for the Consent Order after this 6 Weeks period – Was it mandatory to wait for the 6 weeks period to expire before one can apply for the Consent Order for Financial Arrangement?
      2. We have amicably sorted our finances; Neither me nor the Petitioner are making any Financial Claims against each other and we have clearly mentioned this in writing in the respective Forms submitted for Financial Arrangement – My wife’s solicitor has submitted the Consent Order to the court for Adjudication and advised me that they do not anticipate hearing from the Court within the next 8 weeks. Does this stop or refrain the Petitioner to apply for the Decree Absolute especially since we have submitted in the court that we have amicably sorted our finances and do not intend to make any claims against each other; In such a situation I believe a Decree Absolute should be a straightforward process? Would it be wise if I ask Petitioner to apply for the same?
      3. Also for Decree Absolute does a hearing is required and the Judge has to preside to Pronounce and Make the Order for the Decree Absolute or is it an Administrative Process which can be completed by submitting an application?
      I am sure you can gather from my questions that I want the Decree Absolute Order to be made at the earliest so I can move on with my life.
      Thanking you
      Saif Ali.

    144. Karen Redwood says:

      I divorced in 1996, have lost my decree absolute and will be remarrying next March. My ex husband sadly passed away in 2001, so will the death certificate be acceptable as proof that I am free to remarry, in place of the decree absolute?

    145. Marie says:

      I would be grateful for some advice please. I obtained my decree nisi in May. My husband and I agreed that we would not make financial claims against each other. However my solicitor said it was her feeling that he would, so in my statement of information I included that my parents paid for the whole of our wedding and honeymoon. My husband’s solicitors say that information means the judge would question our divorce in court. My husband has now signed his consent order which says he will not make any financial claims against me but my solicitor is refusing to amend the statement of information. My husband is paying the fees but my solicitor says she will not do any further work until her bill is settled.

    146. Karen Redwood says:

      Many thanks! I will ask my local registrar.
      I have also asked my daughter if she has her father’s copy of the Absolute – I am guessing this would be acceptable if she has it.
      Regards, Karen

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Karen
        As long as its an original sealed copy that should be fine. Its the same document you would have received.

    147. Louis says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      I have read your blog in decree absolute and although my question has in effect been answered by some of your responses to others, I would ask for confirmation on the following. Pronouncement of Decree Nisi is on 20th Dec 2013 @ 10am. 6 weeks and 1 day from this date will be 1st February and I already have the form D36 typed and signed ready to be sent to the court for Decree Absolute. No financial arrangement has been agreed and I want to know IF the Decree Absolute will be agreed by the courts on this basis without any financial agreement / order being in place.
      I am the petitioner and have one 18 year old son who’s working full time, but living with me in the marital home.
      I would value your comments and advice.
      Kind Regards

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Louis
        Unless it has been agreed that there will be no DA until an agreement is in place or there is some religious obstacle, then I wouldn’t expect a problem.
        It does make sense however to get finances sorted sooner rather than later and to make a will.

    148. Ray says:

      Merry Christmas Marilyn! Thank you for your help thus far.
      Decree absolute was granted this summer. Ex-wife applied for financial order.
      We both self-represented at the first appointment. No children, no pensions, long marriage, both have similar earning capacity. I proposed that as she was living in our jointly owned mortgage free house and I had settled down with my fiancée and her two children that we should sell the house and divide the proceeds equally. I proposed she could keep the £50k jointly accrued assets. I asked the judge to treat it as an FDR and move on to the final hearing, the judge agreed, ordering the house to be valued and made directions to the effect that all assets were likely to be divided with perhaps a slight adjustment in prep’ for the FH which was yesterday. As the proceedings seemed to be going my way the ex broke down (well rehearsed as I’d seen it many times before) and begged the judge to adjourn the case so she could be represented, stating that she was incapable of self-rep’. The judge reluctantly agreed and apologised to me. I respectfully asked her why, when she was the applicant, she had suddenly decided at the 11th hour that she could no longer self-rep. She has also “hidden” and sold various assets without my approval. Can she really get away with that? This is a woman that was systematically violent towards me and others all throughout our marriage, culminating with her hospitalising me and during the arrest for such assaulted 3 Police Officers for which she now has a criminal record. Hopefully the judge will feel that it’s “inequitable” to disregard her violent conduct.
      Thank you Marilyn, and best wishes for the New Year.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Ray
        Bite your tongue, stick on course and wait for the new hearing date. You seem to have it under control but do consider taking legal advice yourself to make sure. Obviously I don’t know all the facts and I’d hate for you to find yourself up against clever legal argument, unprepared.

    149. Louis says:

      Hi Marilyn….Happy New year to you 🙂
      Thank you for answering my question. Once the 6 weeks and 1 day have passed and I send of the form D38 to the court what’s the normal lead time for the Decree Absolute to be passed? Is it just a formality of the documentation being issued or does a district judge have to pass the decree absolute on a certain time and date as per the decree nisi
      Many thanks Marilyn

    150. Andrew says:

      In efficient courts they go out the same day, but usually it takes a bit longer. It’s a paper exercise by a clerk – there is no pronouncement. Don’t forget the fee. If you want it quickly pay by postal order – some courts wait until a cheque clears.

    151. Andrew says:

      £45 if the petition was issued before 1 July 2013; no fee if it was issued on or after that date.

    152. Louis says:

      Hi Andrew,
      Many thanks for the fast reply. Its much appreciated. Yes the petition was issued in September 2013 so the £45 fee was included in the £410.

    153. Louis says:

      Hi again.
      Marilyn kindly answered my first question regarding financial orders pre DA. Whilst there is still no Financial or consent order in place and not likely to be up until DA how would this leave my (to be ex) wife? I am living in the “marital home” with my son who is in full time employment and over 18 and have been paying the majority of the household bills since my wife left last March and paying ALL household bills inc mortgage since September 2013. She is in rental accommodation, and we have been to several mediation sessions in order to agree a financial settlement, however she has gotton greedy and also decided at the 11th hour to stall agreeing my proposal, citing that she needed more time to review it….this was over 4 weeks ago and she has since gone completely radio silent so I am now in the frame of mind to allow the DA to happen and then let her come at me as I have no intention of moving out of the house as I have tried to be kind to her and have actually compromised a lot only to have her throw it back in my face. If she wants me out then she can take me to court, which will cost her money she doesn’t have. This may sound a little pig headed and selfish but as I said I have tried to kind and agree various demands from her, however I am now putting my stake in the ground and intending to give her some of the crap back that she gave me.

    154. Andrew says:

      I make no comment on your “strategy” beyond saying that the DA will not affect it.

    155. Pat says:

      I am living in the USA and need a copy of my divorce absolute please can you advise where I can obtain this? Cannot remember which court Also I need to make payment with a cc due to the fact I do not hold a uk bank account.

    156. Debbie says:

      Hi Marilyn
      My partner and I have been together for 18 yrs and he’s been separated from his wife for 20. He is from Northern Ireland and at the time of his separation all financial issues were dealt with I.e house/mortgage and children. He was lead to believe that the divorce had been finalised but we have recently found out that it didn’t quite complete no decree nisi or absolute. His ex wife is refusing to co operate and we are at a loss what to do next and how much this is going to cost. He has lost any paperwork surrounding his marriage/separation, and he now lives in England with me and his new family. He also worries that if anything was to happen to him would his ex be entitled to his pensions etc as we have a child with autism who he wants to continue to provide for. Any guidance you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    157. CNN says:

      Hello Marilyn,
      You are doing a wonderful job by helping us. Please read my situation and guide me.
      My ex-wife lives in Pakistan and I live in the UK. I have already sent religious TALAQ 18 months ago. Talaq is not a legal document therefore, I have sent a divorce notice through the court to my ex-wife on the base of 2 years living separate. I did not mention in the petition that we are already divorced religiously. Do you think I did mistake?
      We have an agreement for the custody of the children. Agreement is signed by me and my ex-wife and our parents. This is an out of the court settlement which also covers the financial settlement. Solicitor is not involved. I have enclosed this agreement with the Statement of Arrangement for Children form.
      Please guide me if I have done something wrong in the above procedure. The marriage has already ended and there is no way that we will live together in future.
      She has received the divorce petition from the court and requested the court to issue Decree Nisi and absolute degree asap. I have no objection on this. Will the court issue decree nini and absolute decree without 6 weeks waiting period?
      I hope you understand my situation as described above. Sorry for my bad english 🙂

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear CNN
        You made this enquiry yesterday morning. The English divorce process is required to dissolve a civil marriage, and it doesn’t matter whether or not there has been a religious divorce. It appears you have had a valid civil marriage and both of you agree to divorce on the basis you have been separated for two years. As to the document you have submitted to the court, it is likely the Judge will give directions about what else is necessary for court orders to be made in relation to the agreement you have submitted about the children and the finances. Normally a consent order for finances is made by submitting an agreed order along with a Form A (the application) and a statement of information about each of your financial positions to the Judge.
        As to the divorce process itself, assuming the Judge is satisfied about the arrangements for the children, there will be a Decree Nisi followed six weeks later when the Petitioner applies for the Decree Nisi to be made absolute. At that point you will be divorced in the civil court. If the Petitioner doesn’t apply, then the other party may do so, but only after a further twelve week wait period, on notice to the Court.
        PS You wrote to me again last night asking for a reply. I respond to these enquiries voluntarily and pro bono and so far have done so for around 20k people. I don’t appreciate being asked to rush a reply to you in the manner you did yesterday.

    158. Tish says:

      Hoping you can help. Dercree Nisi issued. Financial Consent Order approved and sealed by the Court. Time lapse of five months due to solicitor delays.Neither party makes application for Decree Absolute. No property transfer or lump sum payments yet made. One of the Parties dies. I understand that as no Absolute the ‘ marriage’ remains intact however :
      Q 1. Is the Financial order enforceable or ‘has it never started’
      2. If the later, how does the surving Party ‘ cancel its existence. ?
      ( I’m familiar with Barder v Barder should you feel that the Order stands. )

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Tish
        There is a court order in existence and because a court ordered division in those terms I do think the terms would be enforceable by the executors of the estate. I’m not of the opinion the terms and provisions could be easily set aside by the survivor because of an unexpected death. I don’t know what the terms were of the order that concern you, but although Barder is an argument, the law has moved on and perhaps a more attractive argument would now be that the order represents the deceased person’s fair share of the assets and his or her share as determined in the court order should thereafter pass as the deceased wished in the will.
        A contrary argument by the survivor could be run against the deceased’s estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 namely that the original order didn’t sufficiently meet the surviving party’s/ children’s needs therefore the provision made under the Order should be altered to do so.
        Let me make it clear however these are my thoughts only, and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely. I have no knowledge of the case, so you must take your own legal advise.

    159. Andrew says:

      In Barder there had been a decree absolute which makes all the difference. I will be interested to see what Marilyn says but I think the order dies with the spouse. Then all will depend on that spouse’s will – and the FP Act. Am I right, Marilyn?

    160. CNN says:

      Dear Marilyn, I did not mean to give you trouble. I really appreciate the work you are doing. Thanks for your answer. Take care and be happy.

    161. Andrew says:

      Most capital orders are expressed to come into foce on decree absolute – so if no d.a., effectively no order.

    162. CNN says:

      Hello Marilyn,
      My name and my ex-wife’s names spellings were written wrong in the notice sent by the court. I requested the court to rectify this in their record. In the mean time my ex has also received, signed and returned the first notice today in Pakistan and requested the court to amend their record with the correct spellings of our names.
      Now I have received the new acknowledgement of my divorce petition today with the correct spellings and issued a new notice to be served to my ex-wife in Pakistan.
      Does my ex-wife must sign and returned the notice again to the court or the old notice is enough for the court to proceed further.
      Thank you for your valuable help.

    163. A says:

      I am an applicant. We got our decree nisi on 10/08/2010 over three years ago. I decided not to apply for decree absolute till all the finance issues are resolved. She agreed to it. We came to an agreement and have submitted the court with our Consent Order and The statement of information singed by both of us. Can you briefly tell me if it will be accepted and if so what will be the time limit with in which I should apply for decree absolute.
      Your cooperation will be very much appreciated.
      kind regards

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear A
        As you don’t explain what the agreement says I’m far from clear how you can expect me to comment. If the district judge thinks it’s ok the order will be made. If not you will both have to attend to explain what you’ve done and why and then it will be up to the court.
        Again as Ive very patiently explained already many times on this thread obtaining DA is NOT normally connected and please read the post and my comments about it to decide if it should be applied for now or after the grant of a financial consent order. There is no time limit within which to apply, but if it’s 12 months after Decree NIsi then you do have to make a special application and the link can be found here:-

    164. Andrew says:

      What is the point of decree nisi/decree absolute? It was introduced the year after judicial divorce began for reasons which I do not know. They manage without in Scotland. If we must retain this pretence that divorce is a judicial process at least make it straightforward.

    165. Jon says:

      Hi Marilyn. Ive just read this and found it extremely helpful. Thank you.
      I am in a situation where i believe the Absolute is being held by my wifes solicitors. But this was way back in June 2013 and as there is an issue with removing me from the mortgage (work needs to be doing regarding an issue with the garden before the Banks will lend my wife/ex-wife the money and effectively take me off the mortgage). Id love to apply for my Absolute as its now affecting my new relationship but am scared that its just a waste of time.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Jon
        As the article makes clear the DA and finances are not linked and DA should follow in the normal course of events. If your finances are not resolved i.e. there is no court order in place then your wife might be able to argue that she could lose out on a benefit that could not be resolved in the case – but if there is – and it seems to be the case – then DA should not be a problem. Its up to her to demonstrate why it should not happen.

    166. Name Witheld says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      I and my wife separated in 2010, we married in india in 2005 and we have a 4 yrs old son. she back to india and filed maintenance case and I am paying maintenance in india as per court order. Now I filed divorce in uk in jun 2013 now when i am looking for my decree absolute she hired a lawyer in uk and asking more maintenance in UK
      can she seek maintenance two places ? or finance order here? Do you think form E may not be applicable since the jurisdiction is different and she has already lied in the court.?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear X
        As you have filed for divorce in this country you have opened up the jurisdiction to her, she is entitled to make a claim in those proceedings. You can argue that she already has maintenance and it should not be altered.

    167. Primrose says:

      I would just like to thank you and congratulate you on opening a wonderful helpful site and for doing so pro bono. Just wish I have found your site when I was going through my divorce. You have my admiration.

    168. Lisa Barker says:

      My divorce was finalised in Sept 2013 and yet we still haven’t agreed a financial settlement. We have shared care of the children but they mainly live with me and he has them when he can fit them in around his work. Today I found out that he has made a claim for child benefit for them.
      Unfortunately I have always been the main bread winner in the family and as such he will i am sure try and maximise everything he can out of the settlement. Can you advise how I can move things with this >

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Lisa
        Have you issued an application for a financial settlement? Could I suggest you download my book for 99p(proceeds to the Children’s Society) on the side bar of the blog for 300 pages of detailed information about what you can do?

    169. CNN says:

      hi marilyn, I know you are not willing to reply to my message regarding mistakes in the petition letter from the court. Just to let you know that I have received an acknowledge of service today from the court. They have asked me to apply for decree nisi. I will give you more update soon. 🙂

    170. victoria says:

      My partners wife is the petitioner in his divorce, the decree nisi has been issued (over 6 months ago) and a consent order has been issued by the court. For some reason his ex wife has not applied for the decree absolute. My partner is hoping to apply for the absolute himself but he has read that both parties must attend the court hearing. If his wife doesn’t attend will the judge still issue the absolute or is it going to be a waste of the £80 fee?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Victoria
        Providing she receives notice of the application and the hearing date, and the court is satisfied that is the case, if she doesn’t turn up the court will decide regardless.

    171. CNN says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      90 days after muslim Talaq ends the marriage according to the islamic belief. Is it possible if both the parties requests the court to waive off 6 weeks period after decree nisi and issue decree absolute as there is no chance at all for patch-up. Thanks for your help in advance.

    172. Andrew says:

      90 days? Interesting number. In some European systems a widow cannot remarry for 90 days to avoid “confusio sanguinis” – questions as to paternity. A widower of course may.
      Probably inconsistent with ECHR: but it will probably never be litigated. Not many widows want to re-marry that quickly and those who do have no chance of getting it heard locally, let alone at Strasbourg, within 90 days!

    173. CNN says:

      So you have decided not to respond to me 🙁 as you wish marilyn.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear CNN
        I run a large law firm. I answer questions as and when I can on a free of charge voluntary basis in my spare time, which few others do. The answer to this latest question is that you have to wait the legal period for decree absolute. Only in the most exceptional circumstances might the time period be abridged eg terminal illness very short life expectancy and wish to be remarry before death. Otherwise not possible.

    174. Phil says:

      Hi Marilyn
      My wife and I separated back in 1997, I raised my two children alone without any financial support from her. She has since moved on and has a child by another person, we have no contact and haven’t spoken in years. We obtained a nisi some years ago but failed to push forward with the absolute. I appreciate the position this places me in should anything happen to me and how she could benefit from my estate. So, my question is, can I go forwards with an absolute myself and what are the potential pitfalls and would this leave me open to her making unwarranted financial demands against my estate. I am currently unemployed but do own the house I currently reside in, both my children are now grown and married so I no longer have dependants.
      any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Phil
        The decree absolute is NOT connected with a financial settlement so there is no reason why you shouldn’t apply and every reason why you should, if you want to ensure she is no longer your wife. Make a will of course in any event, but to close off any possibility of a financial claim you could ask her to agree to a clean break between you. I don’t know what happened when she left and what she settled for then, maybe nothing, so perhaps that why you’re concerned. However the court will recognise that this marriage ended long ago and your own contribution. Download my book from the side bar for 99p to give you more idea of what the court does and why and take legal advice to get your position sorted out asap.

    175. Andrew says:

      You will need to apply on notice and explain why you did not get the absolute (if you were the petitioner) or apply for it (if not) a long time ago.
      In the meantime MAKE A WILL!
      Good luck.

    176. Sharon says:

      Hi can you help me I’m at a loss me and my husband separated two years ago and he started divorce proceddings we have two children 17,12 who I had,but he now has ,he owns his own company and we have sold the marital home funds are with the solicitor I dont have the last part of my divorce yet and he has married again he won’t disclose his financial matter as he has been ask many times and refuses,he has left me with 25 thousand pound in debt and has another 10 thousand in my name but the debts were for him and I have proof of that the loans were taken out to pay his debts but put them in my name as he couldn’t get the finance I gave up work to look after our children so he could start up his own business and we have a mobile home as well which we bought worth 60 thousand pound and he has pensions,is it worth me taking this to court ? I have went to medition but he didnt attend ,i don’t work as my new partner needs constant looking after and how can he get married when I have no paper work for the divorce and haven’t heard anything and neither has my solicitor and. I don’t have a income at all many thanks x

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Sharon
        Excuse me but I don’t understand what your position is. Please go and see a solicitor, and get some good legal advice. I’m really sorry but you can download my book from the side bar for 99p which might well help you to clarify the position you are in and what is likely to happen.

    177. Ronnie says:

      Dear Madam,
      My 6 weeks and 1 day period after receiving my Decree Nisi ends tomorrow. Firstly, Can I take my application to make my Nisi to Absolute to the court and get the Decree Absolute certificate issued at the same time in person?
      And also, throughout the divorce procedure, my ex wife has not responded to any of the petition, the bailiff service of the petition or the Nisi. After the Absolute is issued, Could she still come back requesting a financial order in the future?
      I look forward to your response at the earliest convenience.
      Yours faithfully,

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Ronnie
        Yes you can and yes she still can. The best thing to do is to apply for a clean break against her.

    178. Andrew says:

      Yes in efficient courts; no in most of them.
      And yes she can.

    179. Paul says:

      Your blog is very helpful for the position I am in. I am the respondent and decree nisi granted 3 march 2013 and separated on nearly 2 years ago on 7 the march 2012. Have filed for ancillary relief. Can a decree absolute be applied for before financial settlement/pension sharing order, do I have to accompany it financial/legal guarantee that if anything should happen to me before agreement that the appropriate share of pension can be promised to her. Will the judge grant the absolute in these circumstances.

    180. Anthiny SIlva says:

      Hello Merlyn
      I have been divorced for 9 years and up to now I have not received my UK Decree Absolute (Divorce certificate) but my ex-wife must have had hers because she has remarried once after the divorced and divorced again.
      Further to add to the confusion the law firm represented her has gone bankrupt and for me I had represent myself due to lack of funds now the question is in order to get my Decree Absolute what do I need to do

    181. Andrew says:

      And thank your lucky stars that she is remarried and cannot make any claim against you!

    182. Monika says:

      Hello I want to ask something if someone can help me. My boyfriend apply for divorce and he recieve decree before few days which say that in 21 they will look at his papers at the court and basically he have to wait 6 weeks and 1 day to get the absolute decree. My question is after 6 weeks did they will give him the decree streigh away in his hand or he have to wait again because we plan to get married when he get the absolute decree.
      Many thanks

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Monika
        If your boyfriend has applied for the divorce then he is the Petitioner in the divorce and if he takes the application for Decree Absolute to the court with the fee of £45.00, 6 weeks and one day after Decree Nisi, the court officer might give him his Decree Absolute there and then. Alternatively the court officer might take the application off him and say it will be sent out as soon as possible. Your boyfriend should check the counter opening hours at the court to make sure when he turns up it is actually open.

    183. Monika says:

      Thanks a lot for your help . Many thanks again. We will contact the Guildford court to find out exactly when he can get the decree absolute.

    184. Paul says:

      My fiancee’s ex husband has had a child with a woman who is living in another country, they are not married and I don’t think they will. My fiancée got a decree nisi 4 years ago but not the absolute yet. As I understand, she is still legally married to her ex husband; will the birth of this child have any implication on the divorce?
      Thank you,

    185. Andrew says:

      No, but your fiancee needs to get the d/a before she becomes your wife and she will have to apply to a District Judge and explain the delay.
      Bear in mind also that if you and she marries she cannot thereafter make any claim against her ex – not even if he wins the Lottery!

      • Caroline says:

        Hi Andrew,
        Re your answer to Paul – February 23, 2014 at 3:35pm “No, but your fiancee needs to get the d/a before she becomes your wife and she will have to apply to a District Judge and explain the delay.
        Bear in mind also that if you and she marries she cannot thereafter make any claim against her ex – not even if he wins the Lottery!”
        Can the fiancee ex make any claim against her if she has remarried?
        Also, if the matrimonial home, which is jointly owned, and not been sorted out before a Decree Absolute and one of the spouse is still living in it, does the other spouse lose his/her rights to claim his/her share if he/she remarry before financial settlement?

    186. Paul says:

      Hi Andrew,
      Thank you. I am divorced and I have a consent order by which I am paying maintenance to my ex wife. The order says that the maintenance must stop when either she remarries or my son reaches 18 years, which will be later this year; and that after that no other claims can be made for periodical payments or secured periodical payments. From what you said it seems that only if she remarries I can avoid that. My lawyer at the time reassured me that she won’t be able to, but I am a bit scared now!

    187. Senani P Samarasinghe says:

      I am married. No children. Both of us are on work permit in UK.
      He seems to be trying for PR Visa through cohabiting with a UK lady. To avoid me seeing him with her, he tried to send me alone back to my country. But I refused. Then he obtained a Family Molestation order. When I started to work in UK he filed a divorce case in my country telling that he will withdrew it if I go back. I went to submit my consent for the divorce , but he withdrew his case not allowing me to divorce. Then I filed a divorce case in my country. But prior to that he rushed and filed a divorce case in UK . When our divorce case was called in the courts in my country he said he has got the divorce in UK, ex-partie. Until that day I did not know about it. I have not been served with summons. I have not been informed about the courts verdict . I did not get a fair trial.I have not been given a consent paper. I did not know about the nisi order. He has prevented me revealing his adultery to the legal courts. Where is the justice? What shall I do? Is there a specific process or time limit to deliver the absolute decree to the respondent. Can I continue with the divorce case I have filed in my country? Can I file a case against him for a permanent alimony in my country since his properties etc are there?? There are legal procedures, but he has misused them to achieve his selfish well planned benefits. That is the truth. PLEASE HELP ME

    188. Andrew says:

      Paul: I defer to Marilyn’s more recent experience, but if there is a clause in your consent order ending maintenance when your son reaches 18, you are safe after that.
      May I offer a word of advice? Don’t be mean. If you pay monthly on a given date, usually the first working day, pay the full month’s whack for the month during which your son reaches 18. Don’t calculate the exact proportion of the month and reduce the last payment accordingly. She’s your son’s mother and you wanted to marry her once.
      But if you must do that, then do the calculation in her favour. Include the birthday in the payment. If e.g. your son was born on 23 June give her 23/30 of the month’s payment, not 22/30. Good luck.

    189. Diane Sheppard says:

      Hi there, great reading your story’s I wonder if you can help me? I have filed diverse from my husband got to the decree ab but not done yet as I have had money from my fathers will since the separation and is still in the bank iincase I was to pay half to him , but recently his mum has passed away leaving him money do we have to sort this all out before the absolute as we had nothing to share prior to this as the house sale had been split, we have been separated for 3 1/2 years?

    190. Andrew says:

      You can do the absolute whenever you like, after which you can agree an order with him and get the court to approve it.

    191. Elizabeth says:

      Thank you for all of the insights offered on here, invaluable.
      I have my Nisi and will apply in a couple of weeks for the DA. We have an amicable situation and divorce was granted after living apart for over 2 years. In the divorce application papers we both signed there was a reference to a monthly agreed amount which would cover our children’s maintenance as they live with me and I pay all their bills. Is this a) legally binding and b) will it end when they reach 18? Also, if I remarried, would this maintenance value stop?
      Many thanks for you advice.

    192. Anthony legemah says:

      Hi how long does it take to get decree absolute if my lawyer fill for it can i go ahead to remarry as soon ad i received it?

    193. Andrew says:

      Decree absolute is issued within a day or two of being asked for. After that the road to remarriage is clear but you have to give fifteen days’ notice to the Registrar – to be increased to 28 under the Immigration Bill even if you are both British/EU – and then of course get an appointment.

    194. Anthony legemah says:

      Thanks Andrew continue your good work.

    195. Liz Bell says:

      Dear Anthony
      Marilyn has asked me to reply to your question. I am a solicitor at Stowe Family Law’s Wetherby office.
      If your solicitor makes the application for Decree Absolute it should be pronounced on the same day it is received by the Court. You will then be sent the Decree Absolute and you are free to remarry.
      Kind regards
      Liz Bell

    196. Sarah says:

      Hope someone could give me some advise. My partner has an ongoing divorce (been going on for over a year nearly where his ex partner actually filed the petition. She has not allowed him any access to his son for over a year and his CSA payments are nearly 2k a month for a child he cannot see. The nisi was filed but she has come back with a stipulation that she wants my partners name off the birth certificate and he releases all rights to access in order to get the absolute. I’m sure part of this cannot be legal.??Where does my partner stand in this and if he refuses to ]sign how can this be resolved as his solicitor doesn’t seem to be forthcoming on advice.
      many thanks

    197. Simo says:

      Hello . My boyfriends just get the absolute decree and we plan to get married next month. Can I ask the steps to apply for uk visa( he is Moroccan and I am EU citizen ). Which form we need to fill and what documents we will need?
      Many thanks

    198. Sheila says:

      I got my decree nisi in June 13. I have heard nothing sine, by the way I am the petitioner. However I learnt yesterday that my husband has remarried surely I should have received something informing me if the decree absolute. In June the barrister said it would be 8 weeks but their were some difficulties with finance and we thought we may have had to go back to,court. Surely I should have been told an application was being submitted…

    199. Caroline says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      I have read your write up above and I am still unsure about a particular point.
      A petitioner who has been granted Decree Nisi, disclosed his/her full financial status and not able to come to a financial settlement due to his/her spouse withholding his/her financial status, it is my understanding that the petitioner would be able to apply for a Decree Absolute regardless of financial settlement.
      However, I have read conflicting information on the internet and I would be grateful if you could clarify.
      Even if a Decree absolute has been obtained, if there is no Consent Order, it could lead to problems in the future on claims etc… ie one of the spouse could still claim compensation or share of assets etc… from his/her ex spouse.
      However, if one of the ex spouse is to remarry before financial settlement, the other spouse would not be able to claim anything.
      Totally confusing. Which is which?
      Thank you in advance for your help

    200. Sirfraz says:

      I was married in 2006 in Pakistan, although I went for a holiday, my mum got me married. I then left to return to UK and made visa application to sponsor wife to UK. I left parents home before my spouse entered the UK. She has been residing with my parents ever since (2007/2008). I am trying to divorce for last 2 years based on 5 year separation. Got as far as petition, which was sent to her and she has ignored everything. Even got private process server to personally serve papers on her (at my own cost), still managed to avoid him. I then went back to court applied for decree nisi as I have done all I can. Now the court refused the nisi and said I need to provide proof the marriage exists. My parents have the certificate and video footage, however, the will not at any cost provide this as they don’t want the divorce to take place.
      I have been through so much trying to obtain this – Pakistan embassy want £300-400 but a copy to make a copy, which is ridiculous as I don’t even have a copy, if I did I wouldn’t be in this mess. The original immigration solicitors ignored everything as well, OISC won’t help, the law society cannot do anything. UKBA want her DOB to locate the file, which I don’t have. Electoral roll won;t supply DOB either. I even supplied personal statement to court, I am back to square one, where I started 2 years ago.
      I am just wondering if there is any other way around this so I can finally get divorced and move on with my life.

    201. katy jennings says:

      Does the divorce certificate state why you got divorced and how do I get a new one as mine was lost in a house move?

    202. Andrew says:

      Katy: it does not. As for a duplicate, you have to write to the court where the divorce took place and quote the number. There is a fee. If you don’t know the number and you have to search there is an index but it costs a good deal more.

    203. elizabeth banks says:

      Hi my soon to be husband (hopefully) has been going through divorce proceedings with his x-wife. He is the respndant, the nisi and the financial stuff has been done, we was just wondering how long it takes for the court to issue the absolute? we’re hoping to get married at the end of September and are getting a bit concerned now that its not come through. Both my partner and his x are friends, they have been separated for years, we even have three children together so there is nothing holding it back. The solicitors say that it is with the courts! thanks

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Elizabeth
        All the court needs to do to issue a Decree Absolute is issue a certificate, which can be done at the earliest six weeks and a day after Decree Nisi. However the Petitioner must seperately have applied for Decree Absolute. Has she done so?

    204. Hugh says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      I am the respondent in a case being brought by my soon ex-wife. I wanted this to go through, and this was the way she wanted to do it.
      My question is on the financial order. Essentially, we are completely seperate financially by private arrangement. When the nisi is granted and we move to absolute, do we actually need to formally have a legal document in place for a financial order?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Hugh
        I would suggest you do. There are then no come backs later on.
        its straightforward.

    205. Hazel says:

      Hi Marilyn
      Your info was absolutely brilliant. I am the petitioner after my husbands adultery. My Nisi was granted on April 24th. We are just sorting out the finances settlement it is split of assets and pension sharing. How soon after they are sorted will my share be available to me? I am anxious now to put it all behind me as soon as possible. Many thanks Hazel

    206. jane says:

      Hi Marilyn or Lisa,
      I’m going cross eyed having looked through all these posts to find an answer, I am definitely going to download your book! Thank you for your devotion to helping people on this site.
      Please can you guide me in the right direction?
      Briefly: Married 28 years to abusive alcoholic, (hung in there hoping he’d grow up!) 3 children now all left home. Separated over 5 years during which he gave no support, then he petitioned. Have no solicitor and won’t be getting one as we were living in Spain where I still am (he returned to UK), I’m not entitled to any support. I want to return to UK to live and train but passport expired and am in serious dire financial straights as husband left after losing all our money and my savings, no assets left and he left huge debts here (not in my name). After living below the breadline and caring for children find myself unemployed and virtually homeless. He has set himself up in new life, girlfriend with her own house and good salary (as a financial advisor!) and got himself back on his wealthy mother’s Will again.
      I need to know how to get info so I can find the forms to proceed without a solicitor.
      Decree nisi granted on 14th August so have till 25th Sept before he applies for DA. Husband stopped communicating a year ago, only contact via his solicitor who says he will apply for DA as soon as possible. I’ve been advised to ask his solicitor for undertaking he will not apply for DA until finances sorted and I apply to court to ask for judge to suspend granting of DA, (which husb pays for) because of grave hardship to me if it DA granted. I’ve not asked for informal exchange of financial info as he’ll lie so there’s no point. Want him to apply and pay for ancillary relief (Form A) so we can exchange financials in our Form E’s (mine will be virtually blank!).
      Originally I had a solicitor. Ticked boxes 5 & 6 on Acknowledgement of Service but then had to change to Acting in Person as my Dad stopped paying legal fees.
      Do I write to the court to ask for DA to be suspended or is there a form?
      And can he ask get a clean break if I don’t agree to one?
      How do I make sure finances can still be sorted even if DA granted?
      I do hope you can help although I know you can’t give advice but I am in a terrible situation so anything you can point me to would be so gratefully received.
      It shouldn’t be like this for an intelligent woman of almost 60!
      Bless you and thank you in advance.

    207. Name Witheld says:

      Hi Marilyn
      I wondered if you could give me some advice please, my soon to be Ex-husband filed for divorce on the 26th November 2012 under the grounds of irretrievable breakdown and unreasonable behaviour. I did not agree with these grounds (due to the unreasonable behaviour on his part) but went along with it due to costs. The Decree Nisi arrived on the 17th June 2013 and the absolute could have been applied for 30th July 2013 but he failed to do so. I could not afford at the time to take up the divorce proceedings myself so left it on the back burner. I put my house on the market in June2014 and found a buyer straightaway, the house is legally in my name but he had a notice of home rights placed in October 2011 which is stopping me from selling. I am now proceeding with the divorce as the Respondent and have to go to court, the date is set for the hearing of the decree absolute on the 18th November 2014 which seems a very long wait, considering my solicitor only thinks it will take 5 minutes. Once the absolute comes through I can then apply to remove the home rights notice as advised. I will then agree to a financial settlement and complete the whole process.
      My questions are can I not get a quicker hearing due to the possibility I could lose my buyer, nearly 10 weeks for a hearing seems a bit extreme ?
      How long does it take to remove a Notice of home rights on property?
      I do not have much faith in my solicitor at present but he is all I can afford at the moment.
      I would really appreciate any light you could throw on this subject for me, I am at my wits end!!
      Thanks in advance.

    208. Jan says:

      Dear Marilyn – wonder if you can help me? I am just about to draw down my pension – a fairly small one it has to be said. My ex husband and I divorced in 1991 and no provision was made through the courts for financial disposal. It was all done by mutual agreement – only having a property to sort out. Could my ex husband have any rights over my pension now?
      Thank you for any advice.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Jan
        I replied to your previous question. My view based on what you write, is no. However Im not your lawyer and if you are concerned then check. Please read my reply to your earlier question.

    209. April fisher says:

      Hello, am being divorced by my husband and decree nisi has just come through.we sold the property we lived in and split the profit equally.I have applied for spousal Maintenance through his solicitor and been refused though I have been told I will get some of his pension .He currently draws a pension as well as working and I have been refused a share of that.i live on benefits cannot afford a solicitor but want to be sure I get what I may be entitled to. Do I need to apply to court to get it on a proper footing. Husband won’t speak to me unless through a solicitor.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear April
        I assume from what you write, that the “refusal” is from his solicitor and thus from him, not from the court. You are entitled to apply for a financial settlement on divorce which includes maintenance, a capital split and a pension share even if the pension is in payment, the fund can be split.
        I think you should go and see a solicitor to make sure you do get a fair deal. You may be entitled to more of the capital from the house than 50/50.
        Its appalling that you are on benefits, arent able to access the courts because of no legal aid and your husband may be unfairly denying you a fair deal.
        So go and see a solicitor, dont assume you wont be able to pay. Some solicitors will see clients free of charge, we do see people for 30mins free advice at all our offices. You can also download my book for 99p from the side bar of the blog, and it will give you much more information.

    210. Sam says:

      Dear Marilyn, thank you for all your advice. Could you advise on this matter please?
      My partner’s wife is the Petitioner, DN has been granted but she won’t apply for DA as she says she doesn’t have funds to pay her solicitor or for the pension valuation report needed to settle the finance order (which they verbally agreed they would wait for before DA). She has a long track record for running up huge debts, and has also reneged on various agreements made during the divorce process. My partner has already given her a large lump sum when she claimed she couldn’t afford solicitors’ fees a few months ago.
      If my partner as the Respondent applies for DA before the finances are settled, and she continues to run up more debt, will this have an impact when it comes to settling the finances in the future – ie might she be able to claim more maintenance / pension contribution from him as it will look as though she has insufficient funds to live on.
      Thank you.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Sam
        Your partner can apply for DA 12 weeks after the date she could have first applied, ie six weeks after DN. Or because its a faff, he could give her the money to apply and pay for the pension report and could ask for her share to be taken into account at the final hearing if it doesnt settle. He could take control and move the financials on, its odd that its all come to a standstill like this, and as for post separation debt its a matter for the court to decide on the basis of why they were incurred and assessing both parties income and reasonable needs, fairly.
        If hes got a solicitor, he needs to find out his options to get this resolved because Im sure it can be.

    211. Neil says:

      Dear Marilyn
      My wife and I have been separated for 2 years and she has now set the ball rolling for divorce. I have received a letter from her solicitor saying she is willing to pay for the proceedings providing that I don’t contest it. The next paragraph says “Upon the conclusion of the proceedings and the pronouncment of a Decree Absolute (my wife) would propose that the Court should be invited to make an order by consent to the effect that both you and (my wife) agree that neither of you should have any further claim of a financial nature against the other now or in the future. This will allow each of you to know with certainty where you stand” Is this a normal thing to happen? We did agree at the time of separation on the division of assets, although I’m not convinced she was entirely honest about everything. I am just wondering if she is trying to hide something from me by offering to pay for the proceedings and by adding that paragraph? Incidently, if I were to sign the papers and not contest it, how much will she actually be paying for the divorce proceedings? I have seen a couple of comments on here mentioning £45. Is that all it would be?
      Thank you for any advice you can give

    212. Luke says:

      “We did agree at the time of separation on the division of assets, although I’m not convinced she was entirely honest about everything. I am just wondering if she is trying to hide something from me by offering to pay for the proceedings and by adding that paragraph? ”
      Most men I have known getting a divorce would be doing cart-wheels if they got a letter like that from their soon to be ex-spouse.
      If you don’t know about some assets she might have (e.g. an inheritance) then you clearly didn’t contribute towards them, so why would you want to take them ?
      I get concerned when I read of men acting like most women appear to do (encouraged of course by what their lawyer tells them they can take) – and try and claim for stuff they haven’t contributed towards.
      Maybe this appears sexist but I am still tempted to say :
      “You have a clean way out here, grow some balls and move on” 🙂

    213. Neil says:

      If only you had something worthwhile to say! You have no idea of the circumstances so what makes you think your pointless opinion is of any interest to anybody? I have been contributing for 25 years and she was hiding money left right and centre, hence the question. So why don’t you stop wasting everybody’s time and turn your astonishing insight back to what it is good at, which I can only assume is picking you’re favourite on X factor. At least they might appreciate your input.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Neil
        I’m sorry I havent replied to your earlier question. I’ve been extremely busy. I would not agree to a clean break without full financial disclosure and advice on your legal position. You could download my book for 99p to get more information and apply it to your circumstances.
        The cost of a divorce fee is £410 and there are solicitors fees on top.

      • Luke says:

        Well, if she was hiding money left right and centre for 25 years why didn’t you do something about it ??? Why did you come to an agreement on the division of assets if you thought this was remotely possible ???
        What you seem to be suggesting is that you acted like an idiot and are now upset with me in pointing out the inconsistency of your position.

        • Neil says:

          Once again Luke, you have absolutely nothing worthwhile to say, so I’m wondering why you feel the need to comment on things that don’t concern you. As I have already said before, you don’t know the circumstances. You’ve got absolutely no idea what I have or have not done about it, so once again your opinion is of no interest to anybody. I need to grow some balls? You need to get a life mate and stop interfering in other peoples business. Haven’t you got any friends to impose your worthless opinions on? Mind you, due to your interfering nature that might be a silly question

    214. Chris says:

      Hi Marilyn, great blog, you have answered so many of my questions that has turned my head inside out , thank you for providing a free and superb service, i have 1 question, my dn the 6 weeks and 1 day will be this Wednesday the 10th December, my solicitor has told me he will apply for the DA on the 10th December but has told me that it will take a further 2 weeks before i get the DA, the question i have is that from comments and your answers to the comments is that the DA that if my solicitor apply s then i can be stamped the same day or 2 days after he apply s to the court, is this correct? if so i don’t understand why he is telling me 2 weeks, Can i ask my solicitor if i can take the DA form to the court myself and wait for it, even if its less that 2 weeks by me taken the form in myself i would rather do that, or if my solicitor sends in the form can i collect it my self to save time, Sorry for all the questions, i’am the petitioner, any help please.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Chris
        Without doubt a few years ago I would have told you to take your application to the court counter, hand it over to the clerk and pay the fee. Chances were the clerk would have had the document completed and while you wait given you the sealed DA.
        Now particularly more recently, I doubt it. The cuts to court services have been happening as dramatically as everywhere else. So you could contact the court, ask them, if it can be done faster if there is a good reason. It’s still that easy a procedure but I suspect your solicitor is probably right. If the application is lodged it might well take a further 14 days to come through.

    215. flandra says:

      Hi Marilyn
      first of all sorry for my english , me and my husband agree to the divorce haven’t been living together for more than 5 years,and I was going to ask you how long it will take the whole procedure do get the divorce done ,and get the DA from day 1 to the end,what si the best way to get asap ,we both agree for divorce,have nothing to share , have two kids but not with him,and what is the best to get a solicitor or go through the quickie divorce team that i found on the internet ,they told me to pay 390 the fee and plus 410 court fee to get the DA within 12 weeks,how truth is that?does it usually take longer ex 6 months to 1 year or not ,please let me know asap,thank you
      best regards

    216. G says:

      I have a few questions regarding getting a decree absolute without finance settlement and will be very grateful if anyone can help.
      We were granted decree nisi on the ground of my unreasonable behaviour in July 2014. We have a baby girl from us who is now 14 months old. My ex wife applied for a divorce and since we have received Decree Nisi but did not proceed with the divorce. We jointly own a house. She is currently living in our house, paying the mortgage and the bills (since July 2014). I have been paying the maintenance for my girl since we separated in December 2013. The court ordered for Financial Disclosure and for Mediation, which she did not attend. After waiting for 5 months, I have now sent a Form A waiting for a reply from Court.
      I was wondering what would happen next?
      Shall I apply for decree absolute or shall I wait for the Financial Matters to be disclosed and resolved? I live on my own and it is really hard with no family around.
      Is there any way of speeding up this process considering I have no private pension. I am 32 years of age.
      What other caveats will I run into if I just go ahead and apply for decree absolute? I have a solicitor who advised against getting decree absolute without settling finance first. However, she cannot answer my questions above and said I would have to pay for her to research the answers. Is this reasonable? I thought she should know this straight away.
      Your help is appreciated.

    217. Alan says:

      Hi Marilyn I have recently recieved my decree absolute and am now in a position where I have been forced into a redundancy situation at work. Do I have to pay any of this money to my ex wife? I paid for the divorce process and left everything in the property we rented. And also is there a period of time that she might be able to claim any money from me? as you can imagine I just want to get on with my life.but feel I cannot get away.

    218. C says:

      My Nisi was issued in January – I want to proceed to absolute and I have been ready to sign since it was issued but my husband persists in procrastination regarding the financial order. He has agreed in principle to things on more than one occasion and then changes his mind and or drags his feet further. We have 4 children under 16 and I am the main carer- he has them 52 days of the year and moved 80 miles away so as to be near to his work. Initially we agreed a sum in excess of the CMS guideline as we had debts, however it has proven necessary for this to go on household expenditure and the children. I match his contribution and work excessive hours to do so. I have an IVA in place in order that the house remained safe for the children for debts that were jointly accrued.
      He has behaved appallingly along the way and has no relationship with his eldest child, he has molested me twice ( I didn’t press charges ) and I fear his motivation behind dragging his heels was to create further legal bills.
      He constantly threatens our financial security as a means to get his own way- I have told him to do as he pleases and drop the amount as the strain is proving unbearable. My solicitor, although a lovely guy, has required pushing, chasing and seems unable to act proactively so I have dispensed with his services. I am no angel but I have bent over backwards to accommodate my ex and his access to the kids but nothing seems to appease him and or his pride despite a new relationship.
      Can I apply for the absolute myself or must a solicitor be involved?? I have no more money to waste on a solicitor- I say waste as my original quote has been exceeded by £3000 despite them knowing my situation and ostensibly I am no further forward. I want to sever this marriage asap.
      Please help.

    219. T says:

      Dear Marilyn
      I’ve obtained a decree nisi, need to sort the financial matters. The family house has been sold and proceeds shared by mutual agreement. My husband is insolvent and threatens with bankruptcy, we do not share any debt. He owns letting properties. What would you advise to do next? How great is the risk of his creditors to recover the proceeds from the sale received by me. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Kindest regards Tania

    220. stuart says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      My decree nisi was obtained in August last year and i could apply for my absolute in sept 2015 but have been waiting to collect my things from the house my wife occupies. We are divorcing under the terms of being separated more than 2 yrs ( we parted in 2011 ) she keeps hounding me to get the absolute and now has stated she will apply for the absolute stating that i now had an affair. Can she change the terms on the divorce as that wasnt the original terms we divorced on ?
      Thank you for you help and advice

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Stuart
        You as the Petitioner can apply for DA 6 weeks and a day after DN. If you don’t apply your wife can 12 weeks after that period. She must make an application to the Court. Personally I think you should sort it all out, get the finances resolved and a court order a DA and remember to make a will.

    221. Andrew says:

      No, but she can now apply for the absolute herself and the court would give it to her without regard to your property in the house – and might make you pay her costs. I would sugest that you apply for the absolute at once.

    222. Zack says:

      6 weeks and 1 day is too complicated for me to calculate. I am applicant and my DN was announced on 17th April which is Friday. Can I hand my application for Decree Absolute on 1st June or 2nd June. Could Saturday be counted as 1 day or not. How long is going to take to receive Decree Absolute after I handed my application. Is it possible to collect DA from the court on the same day that I apply for.

      • Andrew says:

        You can apply on Monday 1 June but there is no counter service any more. There will be a drop box where you can drop it in that day, or you can post it first class on Saturday 30 May dating the covering letter and the form 1 June – but post early in the day. I
        If you are near enough to the court the quickest method is the drop-box on the Monday. You will not be able to get the d.a. the same day and how soon you get it depends on how efficient your court is. you will ahve it by the end of the week and probably sooner.

    223. D says:

      Dear Marlyn,
      My ex husband is now saying he cannot pay the mortgage on our joint property where I still live with our 21 year old daughter. This had all been agreed in our decree absolute that he would continue to pay the mortgage until it was finished.
      He is saying he cannot afford to keep paying
      He has remarried and is living in the Czech
      I had to give up my job due to depression and stress, so if he doesn’t keep paying we could be made homeless
      I thought he could not break what was agreed in our decree absolute which was the only reason I agreed to the divorce over 8 years ago
      What can I do ?

      • Andrew says:

        Well D are you saying he can afford it? If he can’t – without starving which he does not have to do – he can’t. If he can, in theory you may be able to enforce the order but if he is living abroad you may not have much success.
        You may in practice have no remedy. If the mortgage has not long to go and there is plenty of equity in the property the lender may let it ride and take token payments only (to prevent the debt from being time-barred) and wait until one fine day you and he both want to sell or have to sell. If you have a Mesher order that time must now be near, and on sale you will get credit for any payments you have to make to stave off the lender until the time arrives. If it is a Martin order all will depend on how long the lender is willing to wait. Sorry, but your outlook is not good.

    224. Pervaz Akthar says:

      Dear Marlyn,
      First of all – thank you for writing a clear and transparent guide to a process that is made difficult by some lawyers.
      Quick question please:
      My ex and I are currently divorcing (by DIY means).
      We created a consent order which we had officailly stamped by different solictors.
      We applied and got the decree nisi.
      Question: Can my wife now change the consent order without my agreement, before applying for the decree absolute ?

    225. Daisy says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      My ex and I parted amicably back in 2008 and received our Decree Nisi in Feb 2011. We did not realise until now as I want to remarry, that we also had one final document to apply for which is the Decree Absolute. So my ex as the petitioner sent a D36 form, a detailed statement explaining the delay plus paid a fee to the courts and they have replied saying the application is incomplete.
      Is it correct that as the Petitioner he is also to complete a D11 form as a part of the application for a decree nisi to be made absolute out of time? If so the D11 asks the question “what order are you asking the court to make and why and to attach a draft copy of the order” – What does this mean and attach a draft copy of what order? And lastly as the petitioner the fee is approx £50 whereas the respondent would have to pay approx £155??
      Many thanks in advance for your guidance on this.

    226. Pp says:

      I want to know if receiving decree nisi , there is a short way to get decree absolut (respondent ) Yeso know it a long 3 months but can I use the petitioner decree absolut for my marriage to registry as proof that we no longer together ? We have planned all our wedding basically but need urgent result to DA. Thank you

      • Andrew says:

        It’s six weeks, not three months. The only way to hurry it up is by applying to the court on notice to the other spouse, with a fee, and with a very good reason such as that you or your intended is heavily pregnant. By the time you get a hearing most of the six weeks will have passed anyway. And no, you cannot book a re-marriage on the strength of a decree nisi.

        • Pp says:

          Thank you Abdrew! But do you know how long the notice to the court will take and when long the court will seat ! Thank you Andrew appreciate it

    227. becka says:

      Dear marilyn,
      Thank you for all the information that you wrote above. I have a question. My husband and i are not living together (i moved overseas) and we both agree to file for a decree absolute. He told me that it is not need it for me to sign any paper. we will get the degree absolute without my signature. And i was wondering if this is correct, because for so far i know it is a legal document andi thought that i had to sign it. Can you please help me out. Do i need to sign it or not. I’m the Respondent in this case. Thanks in advance for your help,
      regards Becka

    228. C says:

      I have received date of decree nisi pronouncement. I have had no contact with husbandand can’t afford a lawyer as on ESA. He’s taken all the savings and left me in debt. I have no idea what happens next and will I get a say in requesting ancillary relief? I read I have to apply but need to go through mediation first but cannot afford. Any advice would be so grateful. I’m stuck and scared I end up with nothing.
      Many many thanks!

    229. Lauren says:

      We had our Nisi issued on 07/07. About 10 days ago I received a copy of the Consent order to fill in and return to my ex’s solicitor. I hand delivered them last Monday. How long does it take for a straight forward consent order to be approved and how long should I expect to wait for the Decree Absolute? The whole process has taken 18months so far as I intend of remarrying, we have been seperated for some time now.

    230. Ala says:

      Dear Marilyn, I have decree Nisi , 18 September I can apply for absolute , can you please tell me :- how long does it usually takes to receive ,,Absolute ,, from 18 th sep? Also I have another questions please . I have 11 years old son , his dad lives separately in council flat , doest not pay maintenance because he is telling to CSA that he doesn’t work or earns not enough being self employed ,,basically hiding his income ,, . Can I ask the court to pay maintenance not based on CSA decision after ,, absolute ,,? thank you so much

    231. Laura says:

      Hi, great advice as always. I have a quick question & would appreciate a reply (though i know you are v busy) my husband and I split a long time ago and finally got a DN in 2008. Due to us both having some horrible family news on both sides, we never got round to applying for the DA and both went on our separate ways without it happening. We had no assets together, no kids & no acrimonious actions at all. To be fair, we both completely forgot about it over the years and moved on with our very separate lives.
      Now I think my present partner & I would like to get married. As it’s been so long since the DN was given out, do I have to start again or would applying for the DA now mean we would have to appear in court to explain that we’re just a forgetful couple of people who were both busy & stressed, and would this be an acceptable situation to achieve the DA?
      Many many thanks for all your hard work

    232. andrew james says:

      I am a respondent to a divorce case and I wish to fill the form D11, in request for Decree Absolute, I have no clue if my ex-wife has applied for the decree Absolute.
      I understand that I have to fill form D11, but needs clearification as per who is refered here to as the Petitioner/Applicant, and the respondent.

    233. Andrew says:

      One other hint: if your divorce has been going on so long that you have to pay the £45 fee, get a postal order, courts are slow about presenting cheques and won’t act until they clear.

    234. Frank says:

      Dear Marilyn – I hope you can help as I am at the end of my tether. I have been seperated from my wife for 5 years in December 2015. She has petitioned for divorce and the decree nisi was granted on 29th July 2015. However, she is refusing to apply for the decree absolute as she knows I am keen to move on with my new partner. Can I apply for the decree absolute myself? And if so how long would it take?
      She is also saying she refuses to divorce me until financial matters are resolved. I don’t have any assets only my pension and I am willing to offer her 50% of this. Can the divorce be dissolved and financial matters sorted later ­base­d on the 5 year separation? I feel like this is some form of imprisonment. She just refuses to let me move on.
      She is by no means in any financial hardship. I pay her maintenance every month and I have helped her move house 3 times and also gave her £5K in March 2013 and she swore she would not touch my pension. However, she has now moved the goalposts!
      How long after the decree nisi can I apply for the decree absolute? I am very keen to get divorced as soon as possible.
      In what circumstances would a judge not grant the absolute? I have waited 5 years for this and I know she will try everything in her power to delay this even more. She is extremely bitter and I have put up with 5 years of abuse and harrassment.
      Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

      • Andrew says:

        If my arithmetic is right you can apply on 10 December and as she was the petitioner she will find it hard to resist. The financials can be and often are agreed or decided by the court after decree absolute.

        • Frank says:

          Thanks Andrew! So she can’t really refuse the divorce then, as she started it? Is that what you mean? Can she contest the absolute until financials are resolved? As I think she will try to play this out as long as possible :o(

    235. Andrew says:

      Frank: in love, war, and litigation all things are possible but I don’t see how you would not get the d/a if you apply.
      If you are in person and she has solicitors a brief line telling them that you will apply if she does not might persuade her to do it and save trouble – but give her until about 24 October which is two weeks after she could apply so as to allow for the court being slow. No need to annoy her by saying what you will do if she does not apply if she already has applied!

    236. Julie Warren says:

      Hi can you help.My partner filled for a divorce over a year ago,respondent failed to sign,we have gone to a solicitors and told them he want nothing from the house or pensions,even though he is on morgage and so on.However a year has passed and we have chased it up again,been told this which asked that if she consented to the divorce then you provide an undertaking that you wouldn’t apply for a Decree Absolute until the financial matters had been resolved. However he has said he does not want any money,just a divorce.Can you tell me why and how this would work?
      Thank you so much.

    237. Mrs. D. McAngus says:

      My husband has had three previous marriages. We married in 2010 and he said after 6 weeks that he wanted to be divorced. Despite his behaviour making me ill he applied for and was granted DN in Aug 2012 on the basis of my unreasonable behaviour. In the period between DN and DA we reconciled and have tried to make the marriage work but failed. He refuses to continue with counselling.
      I understand that I can now apply for DA. Do I need to apply to the court that originally granted the DN?
      We want a clean break. How is this put in place? I am very grateful for any help you can provide. Thank you.

    238. Helen Jones says:

      Hello, just some information if possible. My husband and I were divorced here in France 2 years ago, we were married in the UK. I only have the judgement from the divorce courts here.
      How can I go about getting a decree absolut ? I have been asked for a copy of it when applying for an Irish passport.
      Your advice would be very much appreciated.

      • Andrew says:

        If you did not get divorced in England you cannot get an English decree absolute. Whether your French divorce is valid as a matter of English law in England is a matter on which you need English legal advice.

    239. Madam butterfly says:

      My partner in the last week has paid the settlement that was agreed and signed by a judge and the money sent to his soon to be ex wife’s solicitor.
      His soon to be ex wife’s has received a letter from her solicitor conforming the funds have been received.
      My question is though, how long will it be until he receives his decree absolute (it’s already over the set time frame for requesting it). Now the money has been paid and received is it automatically sent or is there a time frame that we will need to wait before we can expect to receive it.
      Thanks in advance

      • Andrew says:

        Who is the petitioner?
        If it is the wife, and six weeks and a day have elapsed since the decree nisi, she can apply for it at once. It will be granted quickly and without a hearing. If and when three more months pass (add three months to the six weeks and a day and then add a day or two more) and she has not applied, your partner can apply; there may have to be a hearing if for some reason the ex resists it. As she has a solicitor it is to be hoped that she will now apply without delay – in fact she may have done so, some courts are quicker than others with decrees absolute.
        If your partner is the petitioner and six weeks and a day have passed since the decree nisi he can apply now, and it just a matter of filling in the form and sending it to the court. The form is on the courts service website. There may be a fee of £45 depending on how long the case has been running – if it began after 1 July 2013 (I think but check) there is no fee. If there is a fee pay it by postal order because the court will not process an application from anyone acting in person who pays by cheque until the cheque has cleared.

        • Madam butterfly says:

          His soon to be ex wife is the petitioner. So you just answered the question for me.
          She has a solicitor, so we’re really hoping the application has already been made by the solicitor, as she knows the payment has been received in there bank account… If not we know that after the stated period we can action it ourselves.
          Thankyou so much

    240. Hodie says:

      Hi I have received my decree nisi and my wife has confirmed that she has received hers. She has not signed the consent order form but that doesn’t stop me applying for the decree absolute now that the 6 weeks and 1 day has passed does it?

    241. Guy Evans says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      My wife (Linda) and I have been separated for over 5 years (May 2010). We have amicably split our finances and nothing is owing to either of us except that my pension pot exceeds hers. To equalise the two pots, we have jointly agreed that I should transfer a pension fund I have into her name. I believe we need a court order to do this. We have our decree nisi now and looking at the details required for the decree absolute it seems we have to now restate all our financial and property details again – as if the court may then decide on another financial division. Really we just want the court to enable the agreed pension fund to be transferred to my wife. Have we got this wrong? – the resolution we want seems very clear and simple. Can we just request the court to grant the pension fund transfer that we have both agreed on? Best Regards Guy

    242. Karen says:

      If my divorce is finalised and I have custody of my child and marital home and then my child decides he was to live with his mother does she get to move back into the marital home even if it was agreed in mediation that I get to keep my son and the house till he leaves school then I have to give her 27% of the value of the house

    243. Andrew says:

      You can’t agree in mediation or other wise who is to keep a child – the court can always overrule that. There comes a point in a youngster’s life when the court will not go against his (in this case!) preference without a thundering good reason. I doubt if his moving will change the agreed property order but I would be interested to see Marilyn’s view.

      • Luke says:

        “There comes a point in a youngster’s life when the court will not go against his (in this case!) preference without a thundering good reason.”
        Andrew, out of interest what is that age generally ? I know there are no hard and fast rules (there never is in Family Court !) but there must be some sort of guideline surely ?
        I am very interested as this affects a member of my extended family.

        • Andrew says:

          Luke: I don’t know of any case-law on the subject: probably because such cases so rarely get to court. Sorry I can’t help.

          • Luke says:

            That’s OK Andrew, I figured it would be pretty murky, it seems to me it’s like everything else that my family has experienced in Family Court – it all appears to have so many unquantifiable variables (different location in UK; different Judge’s views ; different Lawyers for both sides; different Barristers for both sides) – there’s no clarity on what to expect on anything, except it costs a lot !
            It’s basically like being forced by the system to play “No Limit Texas Holdem Poker” with children as well as money involved…

    244. Sonia says:

      My husband who is the petitioner applied for decree absolute before financial settlement. I was advised to go ahead and that the decree absolute wouldn’t affect the finances. Now with the absolute been announced have I lost rights to claiming pension or occupying our marital home with our child? Why did my lawyer not explain that this would happen? She said I had to sign because I would incur costs. Could please help me clarify where do i stand. Thank you.

    245. W says:

      I got married in 2011 my marriage lasted three months I was in a emotional abuse marriage. He left my property in just after one year of marriage. The house is mine and in my sole name he had never Contributed to my mortgage any bills. There is nothing in his name. He has made a claim for financially order on my property work pension and maintenance order. I am right that he has no rights as I had all the above before I marry him.. he moved in wen we where man and wife. No mail was sent to him at this address either. Can you please help. I am still married to this psyo. . He’s tried to do the same to his first wife

    246. AJ says:

      Hi Marilyn
      My partner and I have been granted a Decree Nisi. Both solicitors have suggested a meeting to discuss a “full and final financial settlement”.
      The marriage was very short. 3 years with no children. I had my house and business before the marriage and my partner has never been on the deeds. No joint bank accounts. No joint investments. Nothing in a joint name. We split basically because it was a ‘joke’ of a marriage.
      I am carrying a lot of debt. House mortgage is in huge negative equity. Business is bumping along on an overdraft. Credit cards have debts. I have substantial business loans. Savings are long gone. Pension isn’t even worth taking about.
      When I am asked to discuss a “full and final financial settlement” am I being expected to find money from somehwere to pay my ex? I feel like I am being held to ranson. My ex is already wealthy and waiting for a considerable inheritance. This is of no interest to me – I just want devorced.
      Many thanks

    247. Teresa Maxwell says:

      i am just after some advice please my partner has had his decree nisi which said that the court accepted the grounds of a 5 yr seperation and he applied for his decree absolute on the 20th Jan 2016 can you advise me on when he will recieve his decree absolute please.

    248. Mila Rose Beltran says:

      Hi If the Petitioner apply Decree Absulute after 6 weeks The Respondent get the same?so the respondent dont need to wait after 3 months an 6 weeks?Advise me please thanks

      • Andrew says:

        The petitioner can apply by filling in a form after six weeks and a day. If the petitioner does not do that then three months after s/he could the respondent can apply on notice.
        One of these days we will abolish this nonsense of two decrees – they manage without it in Scotland.
        But then one of these days we will drop the pretence and make divorce administrative!

    249. samantha says:

      hi there,
      could you please give me some advice regarding the absolute decree?
      I was married and I have applied for my divorce in 2010
      I received the Nisi decree paper, but I have never received the absolute decree paper.
      as I want to get married to another man now, I was asked by the registry office to provide the absolute decree paper.
      my Decree Nisi was pronounced on the 14th June 2010
      and apparently no Decree Absolute has ever been applied for since the pronouncement of the Decree Nisi on the 14th June 2010.
      Unfortunately I was advised that I will need to apply for the Decree Absolute out of time first (and pay the £50.00 application fee, but I really do not know how to ? the court is not giving me clear instruction and the government link is not clear either.
      I have found this link
      on internet and was suggested by the court themselves.
      I understand I will need to provide a reason why either me or my ex did not apply for the D36 absolute decree and I think at that time, we simply did not realised we have to send the paper back to the court as yet again the instructions are not clear in simple English.
      my question is :
      what do I need to do next in order to gain the absolute decree?
      1-do I fill the application form from this web site: ) , print it , signed it and drop it at the county court with a covering letter plus £50 fee ?
      2- I need to get a lawyer / solicitor?
      thank you very much for the help

    250. JamesB says:

      The application form is here
      You are asking for the Decree Nisi granted on xxxx to be granted out of time.
      You should support it with a Statement confirming that no child has been born in the intervening period and that you have not resumed co-habitation with your ex – and explain the reason for the delay
      Ask local county court the fee or phone the number on the form.

    251. Cheryl says:

      Hello I am too in a similar position…please could anyone advise me I am so worried
      I have applied to the court using d36 and d11 as my husband never did when the nisi was pronounced in 2012.
      I am the respondent…I have followed the instructions from the family clerk and attached a statement saying no children or cohabitation since nisi.
      I only found out we are still legally “married” this week and am in total shock and feel sick!
      I requested a search for my absolute which doesn’t exist as I need to give notice to remarry!
      I am due to remarry on 24th June 2016 and have a very small window now to give notice
      My question is will the court take long to grant the absolute knowing I’m on a seriously tight deadline?
      Will there need to be a hearing?
      Is there any way I can get this back quickly?
      Kind regards

      • Mila Rose says:

        Hi Cherry you have to contact the Matrimonal Court to findout but i can see the only way & quickest for you to apply would be through a Summons and Affidavit to the Master for leave to apply for the Decree Absolute and there is a fee of £115.00 for this.
        But still the easiest way would be for your husband to apply.I hope this help you a bit.

    252. Lesley says:

      Hi. These posts are very informative but I could be here ages looking for my answer!
      I am being granted decree nisi in just over two weeks, and my husband has been informed by the court. He is looking for a reconciliation and has moved back into the marital home, but I’m very wary (I am the petitioner).
      If I agree to withdraw the petition what costs would I incur if I were to reinstate the petition in the future, and if I went ahead with the divorce, but we continued to cohabit to see how things work out, would I be forced to sell the house and close bank accounts, etc…?
      Thanks in advance

    253. Ian says:

      Firstly, thank you for your advice above, it makes interesting reading.
      My query is one that I am unable to find elsewhere, and as such am hoping that you may be able to shine some light prior to me seeking advice elsewhere.
      My wife petitioned for divorce and the nisi was granted. There are no financial or other matters pending or to consider. The date has passed for the application of absolute, but my wife has not made the application. Currently we are not on speaking terms so I am unable to discuss why there is a delay.
      If I am to process to make the application after the additional three months have passed, am I entitled to claim costs from my wife/petitioner? Also, is there a requirement to attend court for the hearing? I read in some places that this is required and in others that it is not. Hence my confusion.
      Any help and advice is most gratefully received.
      Kindest Regards

    254. Jade says:

      Hello there, this blog is pretty helpful on divorce issues I must state 🙂
      However I do have a question, my decree nissi is been pronounced on the 22nd of June, which means that ideally I can apply for decree absolute on 4th of August but I was wondering if I could go to court in person to get the decree absolute as opposed to waiting on the post. as I am expecting at the moment and travel out to get married end of August.
      Do I need to notify the court prior to arriving there for the application of the decree absolute?

    255. Dean says:

      Hi, my wife filed for divorce in February 2015 and the decree was granted on 1st June 2015. It took some time to sort out the financial side and to make sure the children were included in this. I received a settlement from my wife, she bought me out of the house, on 5th May 2016. I was told when I received this I would then be divorced and would receive a decree absolute. It is now the middle of June and still not received it. I contacted my solicitor but she knows nothing. Do I receive the absolute automatically and where would it come from, the court or my wife’s solicitor?

    256. Sylvie says:

      Hi. My husband and I have been separated 7 years after he left to live with the woman he had been involved with. He finally applied for a divorce 9 months ago and I received the papers which I completed and returned to court straight away agreeing to the divorce. I’ve heard nothing since. Our children are 28 and 24 so no issues there. Does it usually take so long ?

    257. B. says:

      Hello Marilyn ,
      My ex husband can apply for a decree absolute on Aug 31st 2016. Decree nisi was on July 19th 2016. How long will the absolute take after this date, roughly?
      Kind regards,

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear B
        Assuming he files the application promptly it will take as long as the court office takes to issue it. You could try calling them.

        • B. says:

          Thank you so much for your prompt reply.
          Here’s hoping the courts don’t take too long!
          Kind Regards.

    258. Andrew says:

      “You could try calling them.”
      Don’t bother. You will be talking to a call centre. About ten days if you are lucky.

    259. Nick says:

      Hi Marilyn, Some really useful stuff here. I have a question. My ex and I have a nisi and through mediation have reached an amicable resolution including final MoU and financial disclosure and agreement. My ex sent the documents to her solicitor who she has already paid £2k to, under the impression that the £2k would be a total cost for the whole thing, I am meeting half the legal fees. HEr solicitor has come back and said to progress to consent order and absolute will cost another 1500 – 2000 plus a court fee. My question is, is it possible for us to submit the mediation produced documentation to the courts ourselves without the need for a solicitor (both for absolute and financial settlement)? What forms would we need to complete? Many thanks

    260. H says:

      My partners wife started divorce proceedings over a year ago, my partner signed the paperwork and sent everything back, we never heard anything back after that, he asked the court some months ago what was happening with it and they said she hadn’t applied for the nisi and that he should wait, we really want to get things sorted now so he contacted the court again, they asked him to send an email with the case number and asking them to resend the acknowledgment to his wife, they also said for a fee my partner could take his wife to court for the nisi, he then received an email from the court saying that they no longer had his file there and that it had been transferred to Mansfield, a couple of days later he received a letter from the court with another acknowledgment form, when he phoned the original court to ask what he was meant to do the lady said she could not remember her previous conversation with my partner or the emails and that she didn’t no what he can do to move his divorce along.
      Very frustrating! Any advice you could give us on how to go about sorting this divorce out would b much appreciated.

    261. Maureen says:

      Hi Marilyn
      My son and his wife separated in April 2014. He moved in with us and his wife started divorce proceedings in February 2014. He received a decree nisi in June 2014 and after sorting out the finances everything had been agreed and signed off, including her buying him out of the house. He has had problems with his solicitor, first one left and another took over his case. Then the company she worked for was no longer doing Family Law so she took his case with her to a new company. In May this year he received settlement from his wife and when he asked does that mean we are now divorced she said ‘yes’. He has still not received his absolute and his solicitor can’t give him any information regarding this. Can he apply to the courts for the decree absolute? And should one have been sent to him? Thank you for taking the time to read this and for all your help.

    262. Irina says:

      Hello Marylin,
      It’s been over a year since I filed to Decree Nisi and we’ve been living with my husband under the same roof due to me trying to save up for a new property. Soon I will be moving out and I’m thinking to proceed with Decree Absolute. Could you please advise where I can obtain a “Statement form” to confirm that we are living at different addresses and haven’t had children. I believe I need to attach that to my Decree Absolute.
      Thank you, Irina

    263. N De Silva says:

      Hi Marylin. Thank you for this informative blog. I have a few questions.
      How long does it usually take to obtain the certificate of decree absolute from the court, once the decree absolute form has been submitted by the petitioner – in the case that there is no financial or any other settlements to be made?
      Also, is the petitioner only required to submit the decree absolute form? Or do both the petitioner and respondent have to submit it?
      Thank you

    264. Sally says:

      Hi. very interesting website thank you. Please can you tell me as the Respondent in divorce petition after being separated for 20 years if my husband has ticked the boxes Part 10 (3) Financial Order whether he will be able to claim a lump sum value of my house that was left to me in my father’s Will following his death in 2005? He has never lived at this property. My Ex would not agree to Divorce previously and he had the Marriage Certificate (as we married abroad) just to be difficult despite his many other relationships. We separated due to his violence and unreasonable behaviour. We have 2 children who are now in their early 20’s.He only now wants a Divorce so he can bring his other 3 children here from Albania (who he got British passports for!!!) and the mother of these children who he needs to marry in order to bring them here together.. He told my son that he does not want any share of my family home that he has never lived in but I do NOT trust him.Can he still apply for a lump sum at a later stage. He as usual has the upper hand because I am unable to work due to long term illness and he has ticked box Respondent to pay costs but in brackets “only if she defends the order”. To top it all my name has been completely spelled wrong. We were quite amicable until late last year when he threatened to kill me when I said he needed to set out the Divorce for the sake of the other children. He has no moral right to claim anything from me, he left me with 2 young children who he hardly saw until they were teenagers but it would appear that he can apply to take some of my children’s inheritance from them and in theory make us homeless if he does so. Please can you give me some advice.

    265. Richard says:

      Hi what a wonderful blog. thank you
      My wife started divorce proceedings .we got the nisi then I got a letter saying keep this safe its your decree absolute .
      shortly after that her ppl sent me a financial statement to fill in an send back to them . in the correspondent I found several emails (which shouldn’t have been posted to me ) one of which said send the form but it makes me cringe . this got my back up so I didn’t send the form back .
      the solicitor then sent me another form saying I must have lost it an could I fill this in an send it back quickly ? I didn’t so the phone calls started from the solicitors . this will benefit you so I said make a payment of 8.5 k an they can have em within 24 hrs . because while we wer married she had that amount of my home under the lets split things marriage rules .
      just before we split (2 months) her mother died an left in the region of £150k . now wed been together for 11 years an married for 3.5 of those years .
      so my question is even though im the respondent an the decree nisi an absolute have been ordered can I go to court an try for half of the 150k she had from her inheritance . because it seems to me her solicitors are on edge for some reason over this financial statement . im skint so couldn’t contest the divorce . I would have done because I know she cheated .
      anyway thanks for the post brill even if I don’t get a response very helpful

    266. victoria brown says:

      Hi :}
      I went to court recently with my estranged partner it was over two years since the decree nisi as we couldn’t agree on the financial package. After much negotiating and cost we finally had to go to court.
      A couple of weeks ago we both went to court where a financial settlement was obtained. He said he would send the form in to end the marriage however he still hasn’t done it. I feel he’s delaying deliberately because he knows I want to end our marriage asap. Can I now apply for the decree absolute myself? How would I do that if we’ve already been to court? Also we went to court in England but I live in Scotland now.
      This is really stressing me out I just want it over please can you advise?
      Kind regards

    267. Georgia says:

      Hi Good morning…
      I am loving the comments here….. I am from Jamaica and my solicitor has been working on my divorce. My Decree Nisi was filed on November 17th and heard before the judge. My question is does my 6 weeks and 1 day start from the 17th of November and does my solicitor file on the 30th of December? or is it already done but waiting on it to be submitted on the date?
      Also can I pick it up myself or does the solicitor get it back? and if so how long does it take the solicitor to get it back once stamped?

    268. Char says:

      Hi, my ex husband had just had the absolute agreed without having the finanal part agreed just to be nasty as he is in the army and has gone to a war zone for 6 months.
      He said to me to get the finanal part done we need the nisi done and the second part runs along side the finanal but he has done it without it of me knowing. My solicitor just said he can and has done it.. I rang my solicitor twice before saying I would like to hold it up, now it has happened he is just oh well… Have I any rights.

      • Andrew says:

        If he was the petitioner and you did not apply for an order to stop him making the decree absolute then he could apply for the absolute without your agreement. It cannot be undone.

    269. nicky williams says:

      been waiting for d. ab. and he said that he has sent the nici to court but I haven’t seen anything

    270. Jay says:

      My fiancée is still sorting out the financial side of things with his wife which are proving to take a long time. The decree absolute is ready to be signed once the finances have been sorted however her solicitor doesn’t seem to be communicating with mine. How do we proceed as my fiancée cant afford to apply for a court order on his own?
      If the decree absolute goes through and we marry will my income be affected between their financial settlement?

    271. Kelly says:

      My new partner and I are about to buy a house. He has his decree absolute but didn’t complete the financial paperwork his solicitor gave him. He left his ex with everything including their daughter, who he gets access to rarely but still pays maintenance.
      I just want to make sure that when we sign to buy this house jointly that his ex can’t get access to our house?

    272. Ayo ayan says:

      I had a decree nisi 2013 but me n my partner agreed to work but as things are we now need to end it all. Do I start all over or continue from where I stopped and . She already moved to another country now

    273. Oana says:

      hello Marilyn, small question please. I am about to apply for decree absolute. I want to keep my married name after divorce. my ex has no problem with this.
      wherever I read it says that there is a question on the decree absolute form that asks you if you want to keep your married name or go back to maiden name. but the D36 form has nothing on it.
      is there a different form that I have to find? what form should I use?
      do they change my name back to maiden name automatically or I remain with the married one and I have to change after, if I want to?
      thank you so much for your help,
      kind regards, Oana

    274. Jo says:

      I’ve been trying to get divorced for over 3 years. I was the applicant, sorted mediation which failed, Form E’s fine with solicitor’s have gone out of date twice. I’ve made offers to buy my ex out of the property which he’s refused and then upped his demands from a 45% to 50% share (kids live with me). He has now applied for absolute to be granted before finances. I was told by my old solicitor not to do this as did his, CAB solicitor and mackenzie friend said the same. I’m concerned about it affecting entitlement to pensions etc and also heard if there is property transfer after absolute you can be liable for capital gains tax! Should I agree or not? I am desperate to get divorced but can’t agree if it means me and the kids are not financially secure and housed! He’s also trying to claim maintenance pending suit! I am on part time low wage, pay all our joint mortgage and get £6.25 per week child maintenance from him. I’m sick with worry please help!

    275. sulo says:

      I would like to remarry, I just received my nisi, and want to proceed to absolute. however I know my ex wants to have financial stettlement off me which he still has not requested via court.
      I am confused why he is not requesting it yet, also if I remarry between nisi and absolute, will that affect my financial settlement I have to give him? I am the one who has the money and will have to pay out.

      • Andrew says:

        Your remarriage makes no difference. His would, unless he got the claim going first – but he probably knows that. And as the luckless ex-husband in Vince -v- Wyatt found out, there is no time limit on him claiming. And if you think that is absurd we are both in good company but Marilyn would disagree,

    276. Sandra says:

      Hi I’ve applied for my DA after nearly three years trying to get a finacial settlement with regards to my OH pensions. Refused point blank to give to my solicitor. Then my legal aid stopped so I appied and received my DN in Nov 2014. I have since been told that the OH has now transfered his pension to our daughter and his new partner. I reapplied earlier this year for the papers to be sent out to apply for the DA and asked to look at his pension. I was told to go to mediation but he has refused mediation point blank. So I decided to ask for the DA this week. I’ve sent a statement along with the relevant paper work stating why I’ve taken so long applying. Hope I haven’t lost the chance of claiming some of his pension. How do I go about a finacial order now?

    277. Sarah says:

      My ex filed for divorce but was waiting for a copy of marriage certificate hes had two and lost both its been nearly two years now is there anything I can do to get things going

    278. Steve Curwen says:

      My Wife was Chinese and left home on 01/01/2010 for a visit to her family in China ? She never returned saying she was unhappy in the UK, we had a little contact in the 1st year. She changed her email about this time and have no contact with her now. Can I get divorced for Abandonment and how can I start divorce proceedings when I have no contacts with her or even know where she is ?
      Thanks Regards Steve Curwen.

      • Cameron Paterson says:

        Hello – solicitor Benjamin Stowe responds:
        “Dear Steve
        Thank you for your enquiry.
        Regarding a missing spouse or a spouse who has disappeared you have a few options:
        1. You can get a divorce if you don’t know where your partner is or they’re presumed dead. If they’re not presumed dead, the process might be quicker if you can find their current address. The ways you can do this include contacting their: relatives (including children), friends, last known employer, bank or building society. Fill in the divorce petition with their current, or last known, address. You’ll have to pay a £550 court fee. If the petition is returned unopened your regional divorce centre will let you know if the divorce petition is returned unopened. You’ll need to try another way to send the petition to your partner. You can either: apply for the petition to be sent in another way, for example by email or to their place of work or contact your regional divorce centre to apply for a search of other government departments to get their address. Again you will have to pay a £50 court fee for each.
        2. If you still can’t find them, you’ll have to fill in the statement to dispense with service of divorce petition. Return the statement to your regional divorce centre. This also attracts a £50 court fee.
        3. The other option would be to apply for a ‘decree of presumption of death and dissolution of marriage’. If you partner has been missing for a significant period of time and there is no evidence to suggest they are alive you can apply for the marriage to be dissolved on the basis that they are presumed dead. This is done using form D8D without sending the divorce petition. This process attracts a £365 court fee. The court will grant the order to dissolve the civil partnership or marriage if it is satisfied there are reasonable grounds that the missing person is dead. The court will assess this on the basis of the facts presented to it, and will consider any relevant evidence it is given (e.g. duration of disappearance, the efforts that have been made to find the missing person) in deciding whether to grant the order. Please be aware, however, that although there is no time restriction, the court will need to be convinced that there are reasonable grounds that the missing person is dead. Whilst it is not always relevant, if the missing person has been missing for a relatively short period, the reasonable grounds requirement may not be met.
        China is a notoriously difficult jurisdiction to trace an individual and serve papers but this must be your first option. You must exhaust all possible avenues to locate your wife before considering an application for a decree of presumption of death and dissolution of the marriage.
        I hope this helps.
        Kind regards
        Benjamin Stowe”

        • Steve curwen says:

          Thanks for your reply. As I have no idea of her address or email or even if she is deceased it doesn’t help me much .What about abandonment ? As I am retired in Thailand I presume I would have to return to the UK to sort this out
          Regards Steve.

    279. S says:

      Hi, I’m in the process of application for decree nisi.
      I just wonder when should I do legal binding financial with my husband (he back in china)
      He has two properties in UK (one joint mortgage with me, still 70% in debt and the other one joint mortgage with my brother, 50% in debt). I’m the one do the payment for both properties. He never contribute since last 6 years.
      And, we have two kids. Both kids are staying with me in UK. He never pay any household maintenance, child maintenance and never support them in anyway (never visit the kids) for more than a year now. Should i do a legal binding for children arrangement? What i wish is the safety for me and children to stay in UK. I wish to have a stable life for myself and children. As i don’t know when he will return suddenly to meet us. He is an aggressive person.
      Thanks for your kind assistance.

      • Cameron Paterson says:

        Hello – Senior Solicitor Jennifer Williamson responds:
        “You need to deal with financial matters now and take advice. The extent of capital, pension provision and income will need to be established before there can be sensible consideration about how it should be distributed between you and your husband. Your children’s needs will be the court’s first consideration, but there are a number of other important factors that would need to be taken into account. Advice is crucial.
        You need to protect the children’s, and your, safety. You should involve the police in an emergency. The court can make protective orders and you need specialist advice about such, as well as about other orders that can be made about where the children live and who they should spend time with.”

    280. Pamela says:

      My sister in law underwent divorce but have not yet been granted decree niisi and decree absolute,though she has already applied. My question is,can she apply for settlement of assets which they acquired together with husband before being granted with decree niisi and decree absolute?

    281. May says:

      My husband has filed for divorce for the ground of unreasonable behaviour. I don’t feel I am ready for it, plus we have not yet sat down to negotiate or agree on anything regarding our finance settlement and childcare maintenance, etc. I asked to put the divorce on hold until we sit down to negotiate the matters. He insists to proceed regardless. Is there any way I can do at this stage instead of simply accepting the divorce? I know by contesting it will be costly and I don’t intend to do so. But I just want a protection to myself about this.

    282. May says:

      This is a continuous post to my previous one. My young children are saddened by my husbands decision on divorce and I don’t want a divorce either especially we have not talked about any financial and childcare arrangement. I wonder what the protections are for a respondent like me in this case?

      • Cameron Paterson says:

        Hello – Stowe Family Law Partner Graham Coy replies below. Please note the legal disclaimer on this page.
        “It is always very disappointing, distressing and difficult whenever one party to a marriage decides to commence proceedings for Divorce without consulting and agreeing things first with their Spouse.
        I am afraid your choices are rather stark.
        They are:-
        1. To defend the proceedings which, as you accept, could be very expensive and also very distressing and possibly, in the end, will, not achieve anything apart from making matters even more difficult.
        2. To agree amendments to the Divorce Petition which might make the process a little bit more easy for you to bear.
        3. To allow the divorce to proceed on the clear understanding that you don’t agree to the contents of the Petition.
        While it is certainly possible to try and agree the financial matters and any arrangements with regard to the Children before a Divorce is actually started, it is also perfectly normal to try and agree these as the Divorce proceeds and possibly, depending on the circumstances, agree that the Divorce should not be made final (Absolute) until everything is agreed.
        It may well be that Counselling for both you and your Husband and possibly Mediation would be the best way forward.”

        • May says:

          Dear Graham, i am so grateful for your reply. Since my husband moved out and filed the divorce without agreeing to settle the financial and children agreement, I have found myself being left in a situation where i have no control of and no protection to myself except being demanded to respond to the divorce petition in 7 days!!
          I suggested mediation to him as well as to his solicitor but received no reply. I don’t see a way to make him agree that the divorce should not be made final until everything is agreed., What else can I do at all now? Will the court still grant a divorce when there is no evidence of agreement on finance and children in place? Thank you so much for this.

    283. Amy says:

      I filed for divorce (as petitioner) and received a decree nisi in March 2017. There is an ongoing child case and the financials have to be left until after the child case concludes (expect Summer 2018). In the meantime, I recived out the blue the decree absolute: it was applied for by the respondent, but I was under the impression that legally I would have to be informed by way of serving the application on me and I would be able to raise objection of outstanding child and financials. It appears the courts have not checked and found the 2 outstanding issues: I was told that i did not have to file anything with the courts to object to decree nisi going to absolute as I would be served and thus able to object, plus, the courts have to check for any outstanding issues still going on in court. Is this the case or can a respondent move to absolute without serving and the courts approve without allowing me to object ? Should I have filed something to say do not progress to absolute until finiacials/child case resolved ? Can it be reversed once issued ?

      • Cameron Paterson says:

        Hello – solicitor Emma Newman responds below. If you would like advice, you will find the contact details of our nearest office on this page.
        “The main reason people delay an application for Decree Absolute until after the finances have been dealt with is to protect their financial position should the Respondent die during the proceedings. For example; while a couple are still married they may benefit from Widow/er’s benefits under the others pension should they die. Once the Decree Absolute has been pronounced those entitlements are lost.
        It is common to agree with the other party that no application for Decree Absolute will be made until a financial order has been made.
        The Respondent can apply for the Decree Absolute if three months have elapsed since the date the Petitioner could have applied for it. In such circumstances the Court has discretion to delay or stay the application for decree absolute and may do so if exceptional or special circumstances. You should certainly have been given notice of the application to enable to you raise your objections. Whether the Court would have agreed to stay the Respondent’s application would very much depend on your particular circumstances.
        In my experience the Court does not check whether there are other proceedings ongoing.
        It is possible to apply to the Court to set aside the Decree Absolute in a case of fraud or mistake. In your case there may well have been a mistake on the part of the Court in not giving you notice of the application.”

    284. Jay Kumar says:

      Hi Martyn,
      I’m the petitioner. It’s been 6 months since the Decree Nisi was granted.We both changed our minds now and want to continue our marriage. and want to withdraw the divorce. Is it possible to withdraw the divorce as we haven’t yet applied for decree absolute? although its been 6 months to today the nIsi was granted?
      Many Thanks

      • Cameron Paterson says:

        Hello – if you let us know roughly which part of the country you live in, we’ll ask a solicitor from the nearest office to drop you a line

    285. Dee Charles says:

      Dear Marilyn,
      Maybe you can help?
      After waiting 2 years (4 years in total), I now have the Divorce Absolute with no financial settlement. (I am the respondent and my husband deserted to me for another woman who he was having an affair with and both now live in Germany).
      Thankfully, both my husband and myself want a total clean break; he will never claim anything from me and visa versa also, despite court charges against me, he has paid all of these..
      I was originally sent a consent order which I refused to complete as it contradicted what my ex husband wanted (he didn’t want to make any claims against me) but he was told by his then solicitor that it was necessary to complete the divorce. Then, 2 yrs later saw a different solicitor and was told the he didn’t need this consent order to obtain the Absolute, which has now been granted.
      the question is…
      Is it possible to have a very simple clean break agreement stating that we don not want anything and will never claim anything or are we obliged to complete the consent order which neither of us want to do. We have both come to this amicable agreement. (I owned a house prior to our marriage which remained in my name and he made no contributions towards, he was given an opportunity to ‘buy in’ to the property when he received £30k cash settlement (just after we married) but chose to buy a new Jaguar!! also, we both have very good and almost equal work pensions which neither of want claim).
      p.s No children are involved and we were only married for 7 years
      Many thanks

      • Kate Nestor says:

        Thank you for your email. I have passed your details to one of our lawyers who will be in touch. Kind regards

    286. Victor Godwin says:

      My wife and I have been separated for over 2years now. She applied for a divorce and I was sent a notice and needed to respond to some questions. I have initially refused a decree being granted because I felt we could try one more time… but after we met to discuss all issues, it was obvious that we could no longer cohabit. Now I need to change my answer to question 5 from NO to YES… as the court has refused the decree nisi on the grounds that I refuse for a decree to be granted. Kindly advice

    287. Michael Cross says:

      Hi! I have a situation to run by you. I’m American, and my fiancee is going through a divorce in the UK. They have settled the finances, at least on paper before the courts. She is entitled to 20% of his pension, and 50% of the house sale, which will happen as soon as their daughter turns 18. I am very keen to marry her and bring her to the states as soon as possible, but the divorce absolute is hung up because he has yet to provide the one last piece of financial disclosure to the courts. The question before us is can she file for, and be granted, the decree absolute without imperiling the standing financial settlement? My sincerest thanks in advance for any insight you have, Marilyn.

      • Kate Nestor says:

        Hi Michael, Thank you for your comment. I have passed your details onto our Client Care team who will be in touch. Kind regards,

    288. Tati says:

      Hi, thanks for the info. I am absolutely terrible with the terms though and I have one question. After the decree absolute, should we be expecting another paper? Or is the decree absolute the last one and now the devorce is final?
      Thank you.

    289. Cyrille Yannick says:

      Dear Marlyn,
      I want first of all thank you for your valuable support and help for people going through this difficult situation of divorce.

      My wife and I separated a year and half ago and I moved on a verbal agreement to divorce. However went she was served with the court papers she contested the divorce. But négociations via my solicitor she finally agreed and signed a consent .
      We have 2 daughters aged 15 and 17 and I have been paying child maintenance which was worked by th CSA.
      She initially asked me for personal allowance after stopping working, claiming to be sick. She has filled for financial settlements. I’m very worried because I no longer have financial means to continue using my solicitor. She is asking to share my pension, a lump sum and property adjustment abroad (which is untrue).
      I’m overwhelmed and this is affecting my health and my concentration in delicate job.

      Where can get help to complete the form E?
      What are chance for me to order to paid her a lump sum as I don’t have. We have no assets except debts accumulated during our marriage on my sole name.

      She has always worked and also has pensions.
      Lastly will I be forced by court to paid if I’m not able to argue my case myself in court?

      Please help, the date to swap documents is fast approaching .

    290. Stephen says:

      Quick question… Is the day of ‘decree nisi’ the date you receive the certificate or the date it’s read in court?

      Can I apply for decree absolute 6 weeks and one day after I receive the certificate (which I just have done) or 6 weeks and a day after it’s read in court (date set for 30th November).

    291. Aree says:

      Hello sir/madam,
      Actually my divorce proceedings are finalised and court has passed the financial order, and court has given 3 months time to my husband to comply with the order but now my husband asked me to apply for Decree Absolute before he comply with court order, he says that his Soliciter is saying that THE ORDER DOES NOT TAKE EFFECT UNTIL DECREE ABSOLUTE IS PRONOUNCED. Can you please guide me that should I apply for Decree Absolute before I get paid or I should wait until he comply with the order.

      • Kate Nestor says:

        Hi, I have passed your details to our Client Care team who will put you in touch with a lawyer who can help you. Regards,

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