Decree nisi

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A decree nisi (non-absolute ruling) is a ruling by a court that does not have any force until such time that a particular condition is met. Once the condition is met the ruling becomes decree absolute and is binding. Typically, the condition is that no new evidence or further petitions with a bearing on the case are introduced to the court.

This form of ruling has become a rarity in recent times, with one exception—in some jurisdictions it is still a standard stage of divorce proceedings. In the United Kingdom one judge approved 34 decrees nisi in just over a minute.[1] This allows time for any party who objects to the divorce to come forward with those objections. It is also at times termed as rule nisi. In most common law jurisdictions, a decree nisi must be obtained in possession proceedings before the court will order foreclosure under a mortgage enforcement.


  1. Henry's wife is granted divorce. BBC News (3 September 2007). Retrieved on 2008-09-09.


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