The press love to reference a “quickie divorce,” usually when writing about the latest celebrity marriage to come to an end. Often, the reporting gives a misleading impression – that by virtue of your fame, the path to a divorce is faster and smoother.
Here, I look at why this is inaccurate and how effectively the “quickie divorce” is really only the standard procedure followed by all (irrespective of whether or not you are famous!) in undefended divorce proceedings.
What is the procedure?
At best, a divorce can be achieved from start to finish in about 4-6 months.
Strictly speaking- provided you have been the one who issued the Divorce Petition at Court, you can apply for the Decree Absolute to end your marriage at any time after six weeks have passed from the date of the Decree Nisi.
Whilst this seems like quite a short period of time, the Decree Absolute is not granted automatically by the Court and the application is also frequently delayed in being made. This usually occurs where there are problems with the other person agreeing to the divorce, or where there are financial or children issues still to be concluded.
In such circumstances, the duration of the proceedings will become more protracted as such matters may need resolving before the marriage is ended.
Do I need to attend court?
After your Divorce Petition is issued, provided the proceedings are uncontested, the application for Decree Nisi is made and this is then followed with the application for Decree Absolute which will bring the marriage and the divorce proceedings to an end.
The Decree Nisi is the procedural stage of approval being given by the Court to the divorce advancing and the marriage coming to an end. In granting a Decree Nisi the Court is pronouncing that the person issuing the divorce has met the procedural and legal requirements for the marriage to come to an end A District Judge, working through a list of applications for Decree Nisi that have been made, will simply “pronounce” or “reject” the Decree Nisi for each case in open court. A very brief amount of time is generally required to be spent on each such application, and normally this is considered by the Court in the absence of all concerned unless there is dispute. Such dispute is generally about contributions to the legal costs- costs that have been incurred by the person who issued the divorce and what contribution to the same, if any, should be received from the other party.
You won’t need to attend unless the divorce is defended, or there are such issues surrounding legal costs. If attendance. at Court is required, your Solicitor will discuss matters with you and attend the hearing with you.
What happens in other cases?
If your divorce is not straightforward then the total time it takes to resolve will be less predictable.
It does not matter who you are, famous or not, if your case is complicated, you will not be divorced in the matter of weeks that the media suggest.
It is timely to state what may feel like an obvious point: a constructive, amenable approach will save a lot of effort and stress, as well as helping to conclude things sooner rather than later.
For effective, impartial advice, contact our team of friendly experts on 0113 284 5000. We are able to help from the outset, so please do get in touch today.