The financial order doesn't take effect until DA. You not always better off delaying DA until you have a consent order. If your solicitor advises delay, you should ask your solicitor what they think you'd miss out in if you apply, then decide for yourself.
The answer to your original question is that you can't apply for DA until the respondent had sent the acknowledgment in to court. If he won't cooperate then you'll have to arrange for the petition to be personally served, then you can apply for DN after 28 days.
thanks for your advice ladies. its the financial agreement that will slow the decree absolute down!... i thought you couldnt get a consent order until there was a decree absolute?? its the other way around then?
It usually takes about 6-8 weeks, but it varies from place to place and also depends on whether there is any objection. There is a gap between the nisi and the absolute of at least 6 weeks depending on how quickly you can come to an agreement over finances and children.
You might want to take a look at my blog which has lots of info and links in the Separation and Divorce post which you might find helpful.
I filed for divorce in early october... but havent heard anything since.... how long does it take to get a decree nisi thru? does it come to me or via my solicitor?.... my solicitor hasnt been in touch since october.... She has all my financial documents.. i thought we would have moved along a bit by now, in terms of sorting out the financial settlement.....