Divorce is essentially a two-stage process, unless it is defended which is very rare. After filing the Divorce Petition at court, the aim is to obtain a Decree Nisi.
Decree Nisi is a provisional decree of divorce pronounced when the court is satisfied that a person has met the legal and procedural requirements to obtain a divorce. Decree Nisi is also known as the conditional order and is the first stage in two-part divorce order which is finalised by obtaining a Decree Absolute. Following the pronouncement of Decree Nisi, the marriage still exists, and you are not yet divorced.
The Decree Absolute is the legal document that ends the marriage and is the final decree. In general, the rule is that a person needs to wait at least six weeks and one day from the date the Decree Nisi was obtained to apply for the Decree Absolute. Another interesting fact in regard to the rules of applying for a divorce is that the Decree Absolute should be applied for no later than twelve months from the date the Decree Nisi was granted. Failing to comply with this part of the procedure will mean you need to give an explanation and the reasons for the delay.