Divorce Certificate FAQs

Once the court has formally said you can divorce, it will send you a ‘Decree Nisi’. This means that your divorce is almost completed. Anyone who objects to the divorce must tell the court why they object within 6 weeks and 1 day. After 6 weeks and 1 day you can make your divorce final by applying for the “Decree Absolute”.

The Decree Absolute is the final legal document which dissolves the marriage. The Decree Absolute means your divorce is completed and you are no longer married to your partner. The Decree Absolute will legally end the marriage.

Decree Absolute certificates are also referred to as:

  • Divorce Certificate

  • Divorce Affidavit

  • Legal Decree

  • Divorce Absolute

Reasons for requiring an Official Decree Absolute Certificate:

  • You have lost your decree absolute and need a copy of it as you no longer have a record of the case details

  • You need a replacement decree absolute

  • You’ve been married or in a civil partnership before, you’ll need evidence you’re free to remarry or enter a new civil partnership.

  • You require an extra copy for legal reasons including Remarriage, Pension Applications etc

  • You need to find out whether you are actually divorced, following a long separation from your spouse

  • To find out whether a friend or relative has been divorced

  • To help trace a family tree or other historical reasons

You should look through old documents you have to see if you have any relating to the divorce, as these will probably have the case number listed on them. Also (assuming you are on good enough terms with them), you could ask your ex-husband or ex-wife if they have any records or old documents that might contain the case number or other details you are missing.

If incorrect information is given during the order process, it can delay the order whilst the search is being undertaken. The fee for the search is non-refundable, even if no matches can be located with the information provided.

The certificate will normally include Man’s full name, woman’s full name and date of marriage and divorce.

Yes, we provide official, certified Decree Absolute certificates.

Yes, if you cannot remember the exact date, you can give an approximate year of both marriage and divorce. A 10 year search of divorce records will be undertaken.

If you are unsure of the Court where the divorce was granted, a 10 year search of divorce records will be undertaken.

Normally, it is when you need to use the Divorce Certificate overseas.

In the UK a marriage is dissolved when the court issues a Decree Absolute. This normally follows the issue of a Decree Nisi. The Decree Absolute is the final document that means the marriage is legally at an end. Once the Decree Absolute has been issued the previously married couple can now legally re-marry.

Yes, all replacement decree certificates we supply are fully certified copies which are suitable for all official purposes. Some reasons for obtaining a certificate include an application for Adoption, applying for an academic course, applying for a passport or a driver’s licence. One of the most common reasons is that the original certificate was lost or mislaid.

We do not need any documentation at all. All you need to do is complete the Divorce Order Form, and we will then take over from there. Original divorce certificates do not require a signed release or similar for the order to be processed. Nor does further documentation (e.g. driver’s licence or passport) have to produced. Generally, there will be no special needs for the order to be completed, beyond the initial supplying of information and payment.

All certificates issued are certified. All certificates issued are issued with an official seal, some certificates have a raised seal or a stamped seal.

Divorce documents are often legalised by an Apostille to prove that a marriage is now over in another country. A woman may wish to revert to her maiden name. You may also be requested to get an Apostille on a Decree Absolute if you intend to marry again in a country outside the UK. We can issue an Apostille on a Decree Absolute from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A Divorce Certificate Replacement is suitable for both legal and family history uses. Sometimes also known as Decree Absolute, these documents are essential to prove a change of name when married. If you have lost your marriage certificate, or need one for family history purposes, this replacement copy will help you.

Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the ending of a marriage before the death of either spouse. It can be contrasted with an annulment, which is a declaration that a marriage is void, though the effects of marriage may be recognized in such unions, such as spousal support or alimony, child custody, child support, and distribution of property.

A Decree Nisi (non-absolute ruling) is a ruling by a court that does not have any force until such time that a particular condition is met. Once the condition is met the ruling becomes Decree Absolute and is binding. Typically, the condition is that no new evidence or further petitions with a bearing on the case are introduced to the court. This form of ruling has become a rarity in recent times, with one exception-in some jurisdictions it is still a standard stage of divorce proceedings. This allows time for any party who objects to the divorce to come forward with those objections. It is also at times termed as rule nisi.

The result of the decree absolute search will either produce confirmation that no decree absolute has been issued or a certified copy of the decree absolute will be returned. If the decree absolute search confirms that there is a decree absolute, a certified copy will be returned to you, which will mean that there is no need for you to file for divorce. On the other hand, if the decree absolute search returns confirmation that no decree absolute has been issued you need to file for divorce.

  • England & Wales – 1858 to present

  • Scotland – 1984 to present

  • Northern Ireland – 1940 to present

An Apostille is simply a certificate of authenticity. An Apostille is a certificate that is attached to an official legal document to verify that the signatory on your document is genuine and the person who signed your document is a recognised and authorised the person of the organisation that issued the document. Each Apostille is dated, given a unique reference number and registered.

An Apostille enables documents issued in the United Kingdom to be used overseas (in countries which participate in the Hague Convention). When you present a legal document in a foreign country, it is often difficult to determine whether the document is genuine and legal. A simple certificate of authenticity, called an ‘Apostille’ is used to do this. These countries validate the document (for example, a birth certificate) on the basis of the Apostille, rather than the document itself. No further evidence or proof is needed when an Apostille is produced.

Here is a list of countries in the Hague Convention, which will accept an Apostille Certificate as full legalisation of a document.


  • Albania

  • Argentina

  • Australia

  • Austria


  • Belarus

  • Belgium

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Brazil

  • Bulgaria


  • Canada

  • Chile

  • China, People’s Republic of

  • Croatia

  • Cyprus

  • Czech Republic


  • Denmark


  • Ecuador

  • Egypt

  • Estonia

  • European Community


  • Finland

  • France


  • Georgia

  • Germany

  • Greece


  • Hungary


  • Iceland

  • India

  • Ireland

  • Israel

  • Italy


  • Japan

  • Jordan


  • Korea, Republic of


  • Latvia

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg


  • Malaysia

  • Malta

  • Mexico

  • Monaco

  • Montenagro

  • Morocco


  • Netherlands

  • New Zealand

  • Norway


  • Panama

  • Paraguay

  • Peru

  • Poland

  • Portugal


  • Romania

  • Russian Federation


  • Serbia

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • South Africa

  • Spain

  • Sri Lanka

  • Suriname

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland


  • The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

  • Turkey


  • Ukraine

  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

  • United States of America

  • Uruguay


  • Venezuela

Yes, we offer a certified translation service. Go to http://uk-document-translations.co.uk to place your order.

All certificates we supply are full/long form, certified and are suitable for official purposes.

The price which includes postage, is shown on the Order Form. Simply complete all the relevant fields and the order will be processed accordingly.

Your refund will be issued back to the payment card you used when placing your order.

If you do not know all the details for your certificate, this is not a problem. We will do our best with the information you have to locate the record and will confirm the details with you if we are unsure. If you decide not to proceed, we will issue you a full refund.

UK Document Services offer you the ability to amend and/or cancel your order if it has not already been processed.

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