If more than a year has passed since the pronouncement of decree nisi, the application is slightly more involved as it is necessary to explain to the court, usually in the form of a written statement, why such a length of time has elapsed and to confirm that the parties have not cohabited together or a child has been not been born to them in the intervening period. Often such delays occur because time was needed to sort out the financial settlement.
When the petitioner sends the decree absolute application to court, the court should process and pronounce it the same day. Parties are only legally divorced once decree absolute has been pronounced. If a divorced person later wishes to remarry, a sealed copy of the decree absolute must be produced as evidence that they are legally free to do so.
It is possible to be divorced and remarry without the finances having first been resolved but that person’s entitlement to a financial settlement may be extinguished. This is the so called ‘remarriage trap’. It is therefore very important to take legal advice if you are considering remarrying.