What to do with the decree absolute
Are you recently divorced? What do you do with the decree absolute?
Keep it safe! You may need it in the future. It is evidence which proves that a marriage has officially ended and will be required should you wish to remarry.
If you lose the decree absolute, a certified copy can usually be obtained from the court for a small fee. However, in a recent case a Mr Powell lost his certificate. When he applied to the court, they could not locate a copy of the decree, nor could they supply the date the order was made. In fact, the court could not find any evidence at all to support the existence of the certificate, and subsequently nothing to confirm the divorce had been completed. The ex-wife was able find a copy but not the original certificate, however as the document she had was not the original, the court was required to make a declaration that this was a true copy and that the marriage was in fact dissolved. Luckily this case is an example of very exceptional circumstances, and not every ex-spouse will be as helpful! However, it highlights the importance of taking care of your decree absolute.
If you have lost your decree absolute, a copy can be requested by visiting the gov.uk website. There is an application fee of £10 and you will be asked to provide both your case number and the court in which the decree was given. Fees may be payable if you do not know your case number or which court to ask. The decree absolute does not automatically end financial claims arising from the divorce, they can remain open indefinitely. Our experienced family lawyer Laura Srodon can help you with financial matters.