Family Law Blog

When a Petitioner Will Not Apply for the Decree Absolute

11 January 2016, by Taylor King Family Law Solicitors

For whatever reason, a respondent in divorce may be faced with a spouse who will not apply for the decree nisi to be made absolute and therefore bring their marriage to an end.

In those circumstances there are options available to the respondent:

Apply to set aside the decree nisi

Where there is no error of the court, i.e. the court went wrong because evidence on a vital matter was not before the court, the respondent could apply to the court for an order setting aside the decree and directing a re-hearing. Where an error of the Judge is alleged, i.e. the court went wrong on the materials before it, it is necessary to appeal against the decree nisi to the Court of Appeal and apply for a re-hearing.

Apply for the decree nisi to be rescinded

The court has inherent jurisdiction to rescind a decree in its discretion on the application of the respondent (or the petitioner) with consent of the petitioner.

Apply for the decree nisi to be made absolute

The easiest option and most common for those spouses who simply wished to be divorced is for the respondent to apply for the decree nisi to be made absolute three months after the petitioner could have made the application, i.e. three months, six weeks and one day after the date of the decree nisi. The petitioner would need to be informed of the application and they would have the opportunity to oppose it in court. It can be opposed on the basis that the petitioner would suffer prejudice in pending ancillary relief proceedings.

If you are a respondent in divorce and need some advice please contact us on 0161 883 0460.