By Norman Taylor, family law specialist
The adage that you should not believe everything you read in the media is nowhere more applicable than in the case of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini who was said to have been granted the UK’s fastest ever ‘quickie divorce’ in just 14 seconds.
The court hearing to grant the Decree Nisi – a provisional decree – was the result of months of negotiation. It is also likely that the court had the financial consent order ready to be approved and sealed. This would have been read beforehand by the judge who made the public pronouncement in a matter of seconds.
With increased court pressures and a minimum six week wait before a petitioner can apply for the Decree Absolute that finally ends the marriage, the so-called ‘quickie divorce’ is a myth.
However, breakups that are non-confrontational need not be prolonged. While I once worked on a case where the spirit of co-operation allowed us to obtain a Decree Nisi in just an hour, the average timescale for full completion today is four to five months if everything goes well.
Often, divorces are not completely finalised until financial matters are resolved.
The following factors can improve your chances of a speedy divorce:
1. Both parties agree to move the legal process along quickly and without confrontation.
2. Both parties focus on the core issues that need to be resolved
3. Having in place a pre-nuptial agreement which can help sort financial matters out quickly.
4. Avoiding blame and fighting over why the marriage broke down. Whilst it is perfectly understandable that emotions may be running high, this only opens up old wounds and prolongs the process, without having any real impact upon the outcome. The lawyer’s office is not the place to play out history.
5. Adopting a sensible, pragmatic and collaborative approach which helps to ensure that critical issues such as finance and children are dealt with calmly and effectively.
Aiming for a swift and amicable end to a fractured marriage enables both husband and wife to move on with their lives without constantly looking over their shoulder to the past.
Jones Myers highly experienced team of family lawyers can assist with all matters related to divorce. You can contact the team on 0113 246 0055 or tweet us on @helpwithdivorce.