Newcastle’s Top Divorce and Family Law Specialist, Lucinda Connell comments it was widely reported in the press that Nigella Lawson’s marriage of 10 years to Charles Saatchi was brought to an end in a mere 70 seconds by a High Court Judge. Needless to say, this was not entirely true. It is possible for the entire divorce process to be completed in around 12 weeks. However, the Law Society warns that the so called speedy celebrity divorce is giving ordinary couples an unrealistic view on what to expect when separating.
“Quickie” divorces are usually due to the fact that neither party to the marriage is making any financial claim against the other as was indeed the case with Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi. With the current economic climate and cuts in legal aid, more and more separating couples are looking to do their own DIY divorce or turning to divorce websites in the belief this will be a quick and cheaper option. There is though often no real understanding of the process or the issues which can arise following a marital breakdown. Nicholas Fluck, the President of the Law Society, states:
“Even the most straightforward divorce cases, where a couple have neither children nor significant assets and where they both agree not to contest, can develop into complicated and stressful legal actions. An online managed divorce is certainly not suitable in cases where there is an imbalance of power between the parties, or if one or both of them are being difficult or withholding information.
What is generally much more complex is sorting out the practical issues such as where each person will live, who gets what, and arrangements for any children. A family law solicitor will advise about your rights and the options available to you.
They will also explain some of the financial complexities and will help identify the issues that the court will consider and, crucially, give you tactical advice. Seeking legal advice from a solicitor will often save you time and money in the long run.”
Perhaps celebrity divorces are “quickies” as a result of the separating couple having firstly obtained legal advice and therefore resolved all such complexities properly?