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The myth of a quickie divorce

Quite naturally most people, once deciding to divorce, would like it completed as soon as possible.  However, the term “quickie divorce” is misleading and ambiguous.

Cheryl Cole was said to have been seeking a quickie divorce from footballing husband Ashley so that he could concentrate on this summer’s World Cup.  Yet a “quickie divorce” is a myth unless all other issues are resolved in advance of or coinciding with the passage of the petition.

A ‘quickie divorce’ is more likely to mean an undefended divorce process under the Special Procedure, which can still take as little as three months but more generally four or five from presentation of petition to the point at which the marriage can be dissolved by the decree absolute.  Much depends upon the efficiency of those involved including the Court.  If a divorce is particularly acrimonious with a number of issues to resolve it can take much longer, and sometimes many years.

Often the only way of reducing the time the process takes is to reduce the conflict between the parties as much as possible.  As a specialist accredited member of Resolution (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association) Melissa Markham is committed to assisting clients in reducing the level of confrontation during their divorce process.

As long as a petition is undefended it need not take longer than four or five months to arrive at the point the Petitioner can apply for the decree absolute.  However it may not then be appropriate to apply and hence if it is delayed the four or five months can turn into many months and in rare cases years.

In many cases a couple’s finances will need to be resolved and formalised and this too can take time.  Issues concerning the parties’ children may also delay the process, though less frequently these days, as before a marriage may be dissolved the Court has to be satisfied with their care arrangements.

If you would like any more information please contact Melissa Markham in the Family team at Gullands by email: