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How Quickie is your Divorce?

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A couple of weeks ago Ryan Griggs was granted a divorce from his wife Michelle. The press described it as a “quickie divorce” but what does this mean in reality?

The description leaves you with the impression that because Ryan Giggs is a famous footballer his treatment by the divorce courts is somehow different to you and me. This myth has been circulated by the press for many years. In 2006 for example when Gary Lineker’s divorced his Wife, Michelle after 20 years of marriage, the press reported that Michelle wanted a ‘quickie’ divorce and her marriage was over in ’70 seconds’. However, the reality is that the circumstances in which a divorce court will speed up a divorce process is really limited and it has nothing to do with your fame or fortune.  A court can expedite a divorce if the death of a spouse is about to happen and if the marriage was not dissolved this could have financial repercussions post death.  

For most of us however the speed at which we will be divorced will depend on factors such as;

1.            How busy the Court is in processing paperwork?  This varies day to day and between Courts;

2.            Whether parties have reached a settlement of their financial affairs.

3.            The efficiency and attentiveness of the parties’ solicitors;

4.            Most importantly, whether the parties agree their marriage is over and they both want to divorce. In the Lineker case the couple were    amicable throughout the divorce process. A divorce that is defended will prolong the process.

In our experience at Chapman Pieri a straightforward divorce usually takes between  4-6 months. This includes a six-week period between Decree Nisi and Absolute which is called the “cooling off” period. It’s designed as a window for couples who might be having second thoughts about ending their marriage or who have actually changed their mind.

Reference to “quickie” in the Ryan Giggs divorce probably has more to do with the speed at which the Judge pronounced Decree Nisi.  Mr and Mrs Giggs will have been one in a long line of couples whose decree nisi’ was pronounced that day. Celebrity or not we all have to stand in the same divorce queue!!