Quickie Divorce Don’t Exist in England or Wales
We often hear the term “quickie divorce” in the press when a celebrity couple are splitting up. But in truth, celebs can’t fast-track the divorce process any quicker than the rest of us.
What we hear in the press refers to a Decree Nisi, a legal document that confirms the Court’s permission for the divorce to be finalised with a Decree Absolute. However, it usually takes several months for a Decree Absolute after this point due to the fact that there is a mandatory 6 week “cooling off” period which can be further delayed until a financial settlement has been reached which can take some time to navigate.
You Don’t Have to Assign Blame to Get a Divorce
You may have seen in the news that campaigners are pushing for couples to be able to apply for a “no-fault” divorce. This would allow couples to file for divorce without a partner being blamed for the breakdown of the marriage. Instead, they can both agree amicably that they don’t want to be married anymore.
But the current system does actually give couples the option of applying for a form of no-fault divorce, albeit with some restrictions. You can apply for a divorce if you’ve been separated for more than two years and your spouse agrees to provide written consent, or, if you’ve been separated for at least five years you do not need the consent of your spouse.
However, the case of Tini Owens, who cannot get divorced from her husband without his agreement as he doesn’t want to divorce, has sparked a nationwide debate on whether these rules are fit for purpose. Mrs Owens wanted the Supreme Court to grant her a divorce based on her husband’s unreasonable behaviour but was unable to prove her case. Last summer, the Court rejected the appeal on the grounds that her husband’s behaviour had not been sufficiently unreasonable. This means she must remain married until 2020, as she only left the married home in 2015.
You Won’t Get a Bigger Settlement if Your Partner Committed Adultery
The reason why a marriage broke down is not a factor in deciding how financial assets are divided in divorce. So if your partner has had an affair, you can’t automatically expect a generous settlement, with your ex being penalised for their indiscretions. Ultimately, the Court isn’t there to pass moral judgement on a person’s conduct, but determine how a divorcing couple’s wealth can be split fairly.