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Family Law Myth 2: The "quickie" divorce

MYTH: The "quickie" divorce

REALITY: You may have seen in the media reference to a “quickie” divorce, most recently in relation to Ant McPartlin, who was apparently granted a divorce in 30 seconds. The truth is, the divorce process generally takes the same amount of time regardless of which reason is used (e.g. adultery, behaviour, separation).

There are three parts to the divorce process: the divorce petition, decree nisi and decree absolute. The divorce petition is the starting point and involves one spouse filing for divorce outlining their grounds for divorce i.e. adultery.  The decree nisi simply records the Court’s approval for divorce, and is heard in open Court, which is the only element that the media can report on – hence the process appearing quick! The divorce is not finalised at this point, and couples must wait six weeks and one day before applying for the decree absolute. During this time, couples will usually sort out their finances (which will often take a lot longer than six weeks) and the divorce is not finalised until the decree absolute is granted. 

Statistics actually show that the average divorce takes 33 weeks – nothing quick about that!

For more information or advice, please get in touch with the Family team.


These notes have been prepared for the purpose of articles only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.

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