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I cannot find my decree absolute of divorce, how do I obtain a sealed copy?

To obtain a sealed copy of your decree absolute of divorce in England, especially if you cannot find it, you can follow these steps:

  1. Complete Form D440: You need to fill out the D440 form, which is available on the government's website. This form is designed to request a search for a divorce decree absolute or final order. The form requires detailed information about the divorce proceedings, including the full names of the applicant and respondent, the date of marriage, separation, filing of the petition, and the pronouncement of the decree nisi and absolute. If you don't know the court where the divorce took place, you can still apply using this form.

  2. Search Fee: There are fees associated with searching for a decree absolute. If you know the case number, the fee is £11. If you do not know the case number, the fee is £45 for every 10 years of records searched. Even if you know the exact date, the fee remains £45. Payment can be made by credit/debit card, cheque, or postal order made payable to ‘HM Courts & Tribunals Service’. Details on how to pay the fee can be found on page 4 of the form 1.

  3. Submit the Form: After completing the form and paying the required fee, submit it to the Central Family Court. You can send it by post to:
    Central Family Court, Decree Absolute Search Section, First Avenue House, 42 – 49 High Holborn, London WC1V 6NP
    Alternatively, you can email it to 1.

  4. Wait for the Response: The Central Family Court aims to send you a certificate of the search within 10 working days. However, due to increased demand and complexity, it may take longer. If there is anything wrong with your application, it will be returned to you with the reason for its return. If there is no trace of a decree having been granted, you will be issued with a ‘no trace’ certificate 1.

  5. Additional Options: If you require a certified sealed copy signed by a judge, this process can take up to 30 business days for dispatch. For overseas customers, the service includes scanning the certificate and attaching it to the confirmation of posting email at no extra cost 5.

By following these steps, you should be able to obtain a sealed copy of your decree absolute of divorce even if you initially cannot find it.

Family Lawyers

Family Lawyers in Clevedon

Experiencing family difficulties can be overwhelming, particularly when seeking reliable advice.

Laurence Holmes, family law solicitors in Clevedon and North Somerset is here to support you through these tough times. Specializing in Clevedon family law cases, we're adept at handling a variety of legal challenges, including divorces, separations, financial disputes, cohabitation issues, relationship breakdowns, and instances of domestic abuse.

Family Lawyers in Clevedon

We emphasize providing practical advice and facilitating cost effective dispute resolutions. Our objective is to promptly address your family's legal needs while minimizing conflict, ensuring your family's emotional and financial security.

Comprehensive Family Law Services in Clevedon

Our extensive family law offerings are crafted to ease the journey through the legal maze. We're dedicated to crafting personalized solutions that lessen the emotional and financial impact on your family.

·         Divorce and Separation: Navigating the process with a focus on amicable outcomes through the law.

·         Civil Partnership Dissolution: Offering guidance on the legal aspects of dissolving a civil partnership, including financial settlements and child care arrangements.

·         Divorce Finance Advice: Assisting in negotiating fair financial settlements and establishing future financial stability.

·         Children Legal Matters: Employing non-confrontational strategies for child-related disputes, aiming to preserve strong parent-child bonds.

·         Cohabitation Agreements and Disputes: Aiding unmarried couples in drafting cohabitation agreements and resolving disputes.

·         Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements: Protecting your interests before and during marriages or civil partnerships.

·         Domestic Abuse: Providing immediate protection and support for victims of domestic abuse, including obtaining Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders.

Dedicated Family Law Expertise  in Clevedon

At Laurence Holmes, we combine a caring, empathetic approach with professional speed to address your family's legal hurdles. Our solicitors are accessible to clients across the UK from our Clevedon offices.

Clear, Competitive Pricing

We value transparency in our fee structure. In select areas of family law, we offer a complimentary initial consultation and fixed fees for our services, ensuring upfront clarity on costs.

Family Lawyers in Clevedon

For individualized advice suited to your situation, please call 01934 853355

​Family Lawyers in Clevedon.

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