Under the court rules, the Petitioner cannot apply for the decree absolute to finalise the divorce until a period of six weeks and one day has passed from the date of the decree nisi. The application is made on a standard court form and unless the divorce petition was filed on or before 30 June 2013 there will be no court fee payable.

If the application for decree absolute is made more than 12 months after the date of decree nisi then it must be supported by a written statement or letter explaining the delay, stating whether the parties have resumed cohabitation since the decree nisi and stating whether any child has been born to the wife since the decree nisi. If a child has been born it must be stated whether the child is a child of the family.

If the Petitioner delays or fails to apply for the decree absolute, then the Respondent can make the application once a period of three months has passed from the date on which the Petitioner could have first applied (i.e. six weeks and one day, plus three months). A court fee is payable for this application. The Respondent’s application for decree absolute will not be granted automatically and both parties will usually be required to attend court. If the parties’ financial matters have not been resolved, the court might refuse or adjourn the Respondent’s application.