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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
With Newspapers and gossip magazines printing that Celebrities are getting 'quickie' divorces based on 'irreconcilable differences', it can be difficult to understand the real process of a divorce and how it works. To set the record straight, there is no such thing as a “quickie” divorce and you cannot get a divorce based on 'irreconcilable differences'.
So how long does a divorce take?
The short answer is 4 – 6 months; however, this depends on how busy the Court is at the time because that can be one of the biggest delays. It also depends on how quickly both parties submit the relevant paperwork to the Court at each stage. If you decide to resolve financial matters (which is advisable) during the Divorce Proceedings then this can also delay finalising the divorce.
So what are the stages of a divorce?
When a newspaper refers to a celebrity receiving a “quickie” divorce they are referring to the fact that they have received notification that Decree Nisi has been pronounced. The celebrity will still have to wait 6 weeks and 1 day until they can submit an application to formally end the marriage by way of Decree Absolute.
What are the grounds for divorce?
There is only one ground for Divorce. That is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. To show that is the case however, you have to rely on one of 5 facts. You have to have been married for at least 1 year to be able to submit a Divorce Petition to the Court. If there is more than one fact available to you to rely upon for your Divorce Proceedings it does NOT matter which one you choose. It does not make any difference to the outcome of the Divorce or any financial matters linked to the Divorce. Choosing Adultery over 2 years separation for example does not mean you will receive a better financial resolution over your spouse and the reasons cited for unreasonable behaviour do not have any effect on the outcome of the divorce or financial proceedings.
If you are thinking of separating or have separated from your spouse and would like advice in relation to Divorce Proceedings, please do contact one of our family experts to discuss your options.