A ‘Decree Absolute’ or ‘form d36’ is the final stage of a divorce, or dissolution (if you have a civil partnership).
When you receive your Decree Absolute certificate, it means that you are legally divorced.
There are four steps you’ll need to complete in order to get a Decree Absolute, we have outlined them below:
To start the legal process of ending your marriage or civil partnership, you will need to submit a divorce/dissolution petition to the court. Read our step-by-step on how to do this here.
When the courts receive your petition and court fee (check if you’re entitled to a discount on the £550 court fee here), the other person will receive a document through the post. They will need to fill in the form sent to them and return it to the court.
Decree Nisi is the stage where a judge will review your petition and decide if agree that the marriage/civil partnership has broken down past the point of repair. If the judge approves the petition, you will receive a letter stating your ‘Decree Nisi pronouncement date’.
Your Decree Nisi pronouncement date allows you to proceed with the following:
Once you have waited six weeks and one day after your Decree Pronouncement date you can apply for the Decree Absolute form. It usually takes the courts around two weeks to send you the Decree Absolute certificate.
The Decree Absolute application form (also called the d36 form) is the most basic form in the divorce process. You will need to fill in all the details including:
You can see an example of how the Decree Absolute application form (d36) looks below:
The Decree Absolute certificate is quite basic for such an important document. You can see an example of what it looks like below:
This depends on how you manage the entire process. For more information on the different ways to divorce and how much they cost, csee our article The Cost of Divorce.
If you’ve lost your Decree Absolute certificate and need a new one, you can either contact the courts or ask whoever managed your divorce / dissolution for a new copy. You may need to pay a small fee to get a new copy.
The process above usually takes around three to fours months to complete. If you’re unsure about any of the above, get in touch as one of our experts will be happy to talk you through the process.