A 30 second divorce – how do I get one?

Ant McPartlin and his ex-wife have recently been in the news with their 30 second divorce.  But what does this mean? Is this true? Can you get one?

In recent years we have continuously been told about celebrities who are able to get “quickie” divorces. Lilly Macintosh and Professor Green were married for two years but their divorce was granted in just 30 seconds.  I believe Cheryl Cole and Jean Bernard Fernandez-Versini hold the record of their divorce being finalised in just 14 seconds long.

What the headlines are referring to is the length of the Decree Nisi hearing.  This is a hearing in which the judge confirms that s/he is satisfied that the marriage has broken down, but importantly does not finalise the divorce as suggested by the media. In most cases, there is no need to attend the Decree Nisi hearing which lasts only a few minutes. The amount of time that it takes to pronounce the Decree Nisi is completely irrelevant to the length of time it takes to obtain a divorce.

Once the Decree Nisi is pronounced the couple still has to wait 6 weeks and 1 day until they can apply for a Decree Absolute.  It is only once Decree Absolute has been pronounced that the couple are officially divorced.

The whole process of divorce can take 6 to 9 months. Whilst there are some scenarios in which the divorce process can be sped up, these are exceptional, and merely being a ‘celebrity’ is not such a scenario!

I often have clients ask whether they can obtain a ‘quickie divorce’. As set out above, such a thing rarely exists and 99.9% of people will need to follow the usual process. Unfortunately, the media also often sensationalise their reporting in relation to financial matters and children matters which can arise from a divorce, and so it really is important for a person contemplating a divorce or separation to seek professional and tailored legal advice from a solicitor to ensure they get accurate and correct advice applied to their individual circumstances rather than rely on what they hear in the media or Google!

Pictons offer a no obligation fixed fee initial consultation from £150 plus VAT with one of our family law specialists.  If you are experiencing difficulties in your relationship and you wish to speak to someone about your next steps please call on 01582 870880

Article written by Josephine Pilling, Family Solicitor.