Divorce documentation can play a key role in a variety of legal and administrative contexts. In the UK, a Decree Absolute is the most important document evidencing your divorce. However, in certain circumstances, you may be asked to provide a notarised copy of a Decree Nisi. For example, you may need to provide evidence that you are in divorce proceedings but a decree absolute has not yet been issued.

It’s important to check the regulations of the foreign country where the document will be used as some will require an apostille. 

Notarising a Decree Nisi involves the notary verifying that the document is authentic. An apostille will verify either the notary’s signature and seal or the seal of the court.

Jump to…

  1. What is a Decree Nisi?
  2. Notarising and Legalising a Decree Nisi for Use Abroad
  3. Do You Need an Apostille for a Decree Nisi?
  4. Process to Apostille a Decree Nisi

What is a Decree Nisi?

A Decree Nisi is an important order granted during divorce proceedings. In essence, it is a preliminary court order indicating that the court does not see any reason why a couple cannot be granted a divorce.

It will typically contain:

  • The court’s seal
  • Names of the petitioner and respondent
  • Date of court order
  • Statement that the marriage will be dissolved in six weeks if neither party has raised an objection
  • Any important notes regarding finances and children

Decree Nisi literally means ‘rule unless’. This preliminary court order allows a waiting period in case either party has a change of mind. After six weeks and a day, you can apply for a Decree Absolute.

Notarising and Legalising a Decree Nisi for Use Abroad

As the Decree Nisi is a court order, it will usually have a seal from the court where the order was made and you should not need notarisation. 

If there is a specific requirement for legal recognition of the Decree Nisi in a foreign jurisdiction, you should consult a notary public. A certificate of notarisation certifies the document’s authenticity and provides peace of mind for all involved.

If your Decree Nisi does not have a stamp or seal from the issuing court and you require an apostille, it will need to be notarised beforehand.

Do You Need an Apostille for a Decree Nisi?

This depends on the regulations of the foreign country where it will be used. If the organisation requesting your Decree Nisi has asked for it to be apostilled, we can apply for an apostille from the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office).

Process to Apostille a Decree Nisi

The process of obtaining an apostille for your Decree Nisi is relatively straightforward and includes the following steps:

  1. Get in touch: To get started, simply give us a call or email explaining what you need. We’ll get straight back to you with a quote and any questions.
  2. Submission of the Decree Nisi: Present us with your Decree Nisi, either by visiting our London Victoria office or arranging secure delivery. If the Decree Nisi was only issued electronically, we will need to verify from where it was downloaded or emailed.
  3. Notarisation (If required): We will verify the Decree Nisi. This may involve confirming the authenticity of the court order. Once verified, we will attach a certificate with our seal and signature to the document.
  4. Apostille: We will obtain an apostille from the FCDO in Milton Keynes. 
  5. Document Dispatch: We will return the Decree Nisi to you so you can send it to the intended recipient.

If you think you may need notarisation and/or an apostille for your Decree Nisi, contact us today. At Notary.co.uk, we offer transparent pricing and a fast, professional service.

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