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UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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My boyfriend was granted his decree nisi in Oct 2011. His wife

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My boyfriend was granted his decree nisi in Oct 2011. His wife then decided she had changed her mind and despite him petitioning her for the decree absolute, she has not signed any further documentation. Can she withdraw the original divorce application and make my boyfriend start all over from scratch? If she still refuses to sign, what happens?
Hello and thanks for your questio.

Can I just check - is your boyfriend the respondent? (The petitioner is the one who starts the ball rolling by getting a divorce petion prepared, signs it and sends it to court, and the respondent is the one who receives the divorce petition from court.)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She was the original petitioner and the decree nisi was granted. Then she changed her mind and did not apply for the decree absolute so my boyfriend waited 3 months, six weeks and a day and he applied. She did not sign any further papers and so I want to know does the original nisi still stand or could she withdraw the original application and make him start over again. What if she still won't sign? Does he have to wait until October 2014 (5 years after the separation was cited)? Or is there another way to get the divorce granted without her permission?

Hello again and thanks for the extra info.

Yes the original decree nisi does still stand - unloess your noyfriend has been formally notified by the court that it does not. So he did exactly the right thing after the date of the dcree nisi in waiting 3 months plus 6 weeks and a day, and then applying for the decree absolute himself. So I am puzzled about what happened next. His application for the decree absolute with the relevant court fee should have been passed by the court office to the district judge, who should then have set the case up for a short hearing, to give the petitoner the chance to explain why she did not apply for the decree absolute within the 6 weeks.The petitoner would need to have been served by the respondent with a copy of the court notice of the time and date of this short hearing.

Your boyfriend could ring the court office to see what happened to his application for the decree absolute, and take what steps they advise him. If his application has somehow been lost by the court office, it might be simplest just to make a fresh application now.

This application for application for decree nisi will be a bit more complex now, as more than 12 months has elapsed since the date of the decree nisi. Here are the forms your boyfriend will need to complete:-

Form D36 - Notice of Application for Decree Nisi to be made Absolute

This will need to be accompanied by a written statement which must include reasons for the delay, whether or not the parties have lived together since the date of the decree nisi, and if so, between what dates, whether the wife has given birth to a child since the date of the decree nisi, and if so, whether the child is a "child of the family" or not. I have been trying to check whether there is a standard format statement that you could download and complete, to send with the D36 - but unfortunately the court website seems not to be working at the moment. But I will keep checking and send you the link if there is one.

Without a standardised statement, I would strongly advise your boyfriend to get a solicitor to draft the statement in support of his application for decree absolute more than 12 months after decree nisi, because it must have all the elements in it, and it must include a statement of truth.

Here's where to find a specialist family law solicitor:-

There will be a court fee which will probably be £90 - but I cannot check the court fee as the court website is not working at the moment.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...

Hello again

I've managed to get on the court website now.

Here's the link to the D36 form to apply for the decree absolute:-

There is no standardised statement for your boyfriend to send with the application for decree absolute - so as above, I recommend he gets a solicitor prepare this for him.

The court fee for the usual application for decree absolute where the petition was filed at court before 1 July 2013 is £45. I was assuming that the fee would be greater if the application was made more than 12 months after the date of the decree nisi - but I cannot see anything on the court website that says so.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.


Thanks and best wishes...

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