What are the implications of a Decree Absolute?


Person signing a document

After the Decree Absolute is granted, you are no longer legally married to your spouse, but the Decree Absolute also has other important implications.

For instance, you should note that any bequests in yours or your former spouse’s Wills to the other, or any appointment of a former spouse as an executor, will no longer take effect. Therefore it is important to review or make a new Will.

If your former spouse dies leaving a pension, you may lose out on any spousal benefits that would have been paid out to a widow/widower. You should therefore consider whether to make a claim with respect to your spouse’s pension before the Decree Absolute is granted.

Further, if the matrimonial home is owned by your former spouse alone, you will no longer have home rights protecting your right to live there after the Decree Absolute, unless the court makes an order for your rights to continue after this date. The court may make an order extending your home rights if the financial part of your divorce is not settled.

You should note that even after the Decree Absolute, yours and your former spouse’s right to claim financial orders against the other still remain open. However, if a former spouse remarries before they have made an application for financial orders, they lose the ability to apply. It is important to consider whether to seek an order dismissing the parties’ financial claims, often called a “Clean Break”, to prevent future claims.

For further information on Divorce or any other Family matter, please contact Ushma Parmar on 020 3490 1475 or via email to u.parmar@johnsandsaggar.co.uk