If you are getting remarried or have to prove your marital status for whatever reason you will have to show an original decree absolute as proof that you got divorced. If it has been lost, destroyed with all other reminders of a past life, or you simply can’t find it, you are going to have to get a duplicate.

If you have the case number and know the court which dealt with your divorce, it is  going to be straight forward. You need simply to write to the court or call in, although an appointment may now be necessary.  Tell them the case number and pay £10 court fee and they will issue you with a sealed duplicate decree absolute.

It’s a little more difficult if you do not have the case number such as when you have destroyed all records of what might have been something best forgotten. If you can remember the court you can still contact them but if you cannot provide the case number, it’s going to cost you £45 for them to search the records and provide a duplicate certificate.

If the court which dealt with your divorce has closed and is no longer there, or you can’t remember which court, you will need to contact the Central Family Court and apply for a search of the records. Fill in and complete a Form D440 and send it with a cheque made out to HMCTS to:

Central Family Court
First Avenue House
42 – 49 High Holborn
London
WC1V 6NP

You can telephone the Central Family Court on 0207 421 8594, or email them atcfc.decreeabsolute@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk.