When the tabloids proffer divorce-related headlines such as Myleene Klass is getting a ‘quickie’, followed by a sub-headline: “TV presenter’s divorce after just six months of marriage” (April 2013), it certainly looks outwardly like celebrities get extremely speedy treatment in the family courts.
However, once you start investigating the timeline for Ms Klass’s divorce application, and first hearing for the decree nisi at London’s High Court, it is evident that she and her husband were married for more than 12 months before the divorce petition was filed. In fact, under English and Welsh family law, there is no legal way that Ms Klass and her former husband could have gone ahead with a divorce before first having been married for a year.
The truth of the matter was that the couple had married in October 2011, separated in April 2012 and then, like any other couple, they would have had to wait the requisite time before filling out the divorce application papers.
Journalists often attempt to sensationalise the reasons for a breakup by saying a couple’s marriage had “irretrievably broken down”. Again, in fact, this is the only ground for seeking a divorce. The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 cites Five Facts which may have led to this irretrievable breakdown and the petitioner (the spouse who applies to the family court for dissolution of the marriage) must prove to the court that one of these facts has taken place.
Plus, when journalists say that a star is getting divorced on a particular day they often mean that the decree nisi will be granted on that day. A decree nisi is only the preliminary grant from the court and at this point the respondent has a chance to apply to defend the divorce. In most cases, this does not happen, but whoever they are, whether they are royalty or commoners, the parties to the divorce will have to wait the requisite period of time before the court will grant the decree absolute.
So, it can be said that there is no such thing as ‘quickie divorce’ – some divorces are quicker than others, that is undeniable – but for many couples, the process is something that must be worked through methodically, and the time constraints adhered to, in order to formally end a marriage.
Healys divorce solicitors in London and Brighton can help you through divorce
Although we can’t magically make your divorce happen quicker than any other divorce solicitor, the team at Healys in London and Brighton will do all we can to ensure that your divorce occurs with the minimum of difficulty.
Our experienced family lawyers will ensure all matters are dealt with in accordance with the family court’s requirements and we will endeavour to make the process as stress-free for clients as possible.
We believe in offering expert legal advice which represents excellent value for money whilst never compromising on quality or expertise.
To speak to a divorce solicitor in London or Brighton today, please call either of the switchboard numbers above or find direct contact details by using our staff profile pages.