Family Lore Clinic: Is there any reason why I wouldn't be granted a decree nisi?


Before pronouncing a decree nisi, the court must be satisfied that the party applying for it (usually the petitioner) is entitled to the decree. Essentially, they will be entitled if the petitioner has proved the grounds for divorce, i.e. that the marriage has irretrievably broken down (assuming there are no procedural irregularities, and that the other party is not defending the divorce).

Exactly what needs to be proved depends upon the basis of the divorce, i.e. the other party's adultery, the other party's unreasonable behaviour, the other party's desertion, two years separation with the other party's consent or five years separation.

If the court is not satisfied then it will normally direct the party applying for the decree to provide the court with further information, although it could fix a hearing instead.

(As usual, if you require more details or specific advice, you should consult a specialist family lawyer.)

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