Doncaster Office
Sheffield Office

New Divorce Terminology from 6th April

21 March 2022

Sharon McKie

Wedding Rings

The new divorce procedure comes into force on the 6th April 2022. We have been using the same terminology for 50 years and this is how it will change.


Current Term

Updated Term




Physical document or digital form lodged with court to apply for a divorce, end a Civil partnership or get a legal separation.



The Applicant is the party who starts the divorce proceedings. The other party will continue to be known as the Respondent.


Decree Nisi

Conditional Order

This document confirms that the court agrees that the parties can divorce. This can be applied for after 20 weeks.


Decree Absolute

Final Order

This document ends the marriage. Once received, the parties will be able to re-marry.




The Respondent could defend the divorce if they disputed the fact used. It can no longer be defended and only disputed in very limited circumstances.


Decree of Nullity

Nullity of marriage order

This document declares that no valid marriage exists.


Separation order

Separation decree

This document confirms that the parties are legally separated.




For more information please contact our Family Team on 01302 341414.