Legal Experts Say ‘Quickie’ Divorces Takes Longer Than Expected
After allegedly separating amicably, Gary Lineker and his wife Danielle, are reported to have filed for a ‘quickie’ divorce using a government website.
The former England footballer, 55, and his 36-year-old wife have lived separate lives for almost a year and a formal decree nisi will bring their six-year marriage to an end on Wednesday morning, according to media reports.
Family law experts have said although it may appear that divorces like this happen quickly, the reality is the process takes much longer.
Despite the footballing legend’s fortune, the pair are understood to have opted for a "value divorce" using a government website that costs around £400.
The Sun reported that a source close to the couple said: “Usually these things are very sad and often acrimonious but with Gary and Danielle it is very much friendly with no legal battle that can cost a lot of money.
“They didn’t use any solicitors and filed for divorce using a government website where they filled out the forms together. It cost about £400, rather than tens of thousands in legal bills.”
A spokesman for the couple confirmed the split, saying: “Gary and Danielle have decided to end their marriage and their divorce was confirmed today with the judge granting a Decree Nisi. They remain the greatest of friends and wish each other every happiness.”
Although it may seem like this couple have opted for a ‘quickie’ divorce the process is longer than many probably anticipate.
While divorce is upsetting and often associated with emotional trauma there are lots of cases where couples are able to part amicably and don’t need to attend court.
However, a divorce only becomes final once the Decree Absolute has been granted, which is usually six weeks after the Decree Nisi is issued. Also, divorce is only one aspect of the process of separation.
It is often the case that while the divorce can be relatively smooth, the division of the marital assets can be much more complicated and can take much longer than the divorce itself.
You really don't want to be in a situation where the financial arrangements have not been properly agreed, so it is important to ensure they are finalised - hopefully on an amicable basis.
The law changes and things evolve, so having certainty is the best option and that can only be achieved with a final court order. If you are going through a divorce or perhaps thinking about separation, you should be aware that, unless there is a very good reason, you will have to follow the usual court rules and your divorce will likely take a number of months.
Nathaniel Groarke - Partner