Is there such thing as a Quickie Divorce?

 In Family Law, Sarah Hull
Is there such thing as a quickie divorce?

When celebrities are reported to be getting a “quickie divorce” it is no wonder that the general public look confused when they go to see a real-life lawyer and are told there is no such thing and that all divorces, regardless of which fact you rely on (adultery, unreasonable behaviour, 2 years separation or 5 year separation) it is the same process and takes exactly the same time from issuing to obtaining the decree Absolute dissolving the marriage.

A few week’s ago in an episode of Love, Lies, and Records we discovered Kates partner of 14 years Rob, played by Adrian Bower, had obtained a Decree Nisi in the space of fewer than 2 weeks as in an earlier episode he hadn’t even issued divorce proceedings. This is an impossible achievement. The reality is, is that from the day that the divorce is issued to the day that the divorce is dissolved, a “quickie divorce” will still take around at least 4 months.

Undefended Divorce Process

1. Draft and issue Divorce Petition, ideally this should be sent to the other party for agreement prior to issue;
2. The court should take 7-10 days to issue and send a copy of the Petition to the other party
3. The other party then has between 14 days to file an acknowledgment form
4. The court will then take a further 10-14 days to process a returned acknowledgment form and send this out to the issuing party;
5. The issuing party then files his or her application for a decree Nisi with their statement in support;
6. The court will then take approximately 2-3 weeks to list the application for decree Nisi pronouncement and notify the parties;
7. Decree Nisi pronouncement is usually 4 weeks after notification of listing has been received;
8. 6 weeks and 1 day after the decree Nisi pronouncement the issuing party may apply for the Decree Absolute, dissolving the marriage.

So why do the press and media talk about a “quickie divorce”?

The answer lies in the timescale in which a party can issue proceedings from when they first decide the marriage has broken down irretrievably and they so see a lawyer about this.

If a party wishes to rely on adultery or unreasonable behaviour as evidence the marriage has broken down irretrievably then they may issue proceedings immediately without delay.

Whereas, if those two grounds do not apply in the client’s circumstances then the client will have to wait until he or she has been separated from his or her spouse for at least 2 years if his spouse consents to a divorce, and 5 years if they will not.

In practice, a divorce based on adultery or unreasonable behaviour usually takes 6 months from start to finish from when the marriage first broke down, whereas a divorce based on 2 or 5 years separation will take between 2 years and 6 months from the first appointment or 5 years and 6 months from the first appointment based on a 5 year separation petition.

So really a quickie divorce is how soon you can get off the starting block at the courts.

To find out more about divorces or anything else related to family law you can visit our page here or use the contact form above to get in touch with us.

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