Divorce – is it any different when you’re famous?
James McAvoy to divorce after 10 years of marriage - is it any different when you're famous?
Tracy Cross, Divorce Specialist - Band Hatton Button, discusses divorce for the famous.
So the headlines recently have reported another celebrity couple appear to be heading for divorce after a 10 year marriage. Is it so different for them? The media often talk about quickie divorces and lead people to conclude that if you have money or the right lawyers, you can divorce in 6 weeks.
Firstly, there is no such thing as a 'quickie' divorce, it's a media myth. The divorce process is exactly the same for everyone unless there are very exceptional circumstances, and being rich and/or famous is not one of those! The process always starts with a petition. The only period which is 6 weeks in length is the period of time between getting pronouncement of the decree nisi and then being able to apply for the decree absolute. Sometimes, couples can divorce on a 'no fault' basis if they have been separated for 2 years or more and they agree to divorce. This is where the media perhaps gets the idea from that the divorce is a 'quickie'. In reality, whether the divorce is based on separation or a fault basis such as adultery or behaviour, the paperwork process is exactly the same for everyone.
Most solicitors will also operate a fixed fee for dealing with a divorce that is not going to be defended and probably 99% of divorces are undefended. The cost of actually dealing with the divorce process is usually quite reasonable. Where couples often find they spend most of their time and money is if they can't agree over arrangements for their children or their money.
It's those sorts of situations where it's a good idea to look at processes like mediation and the collaborative process. These processes actively encourage you to avoid the expensive lawyer led, court process. It doesn't mean it's not a good idea to have legal advice, far from it, it's usually essential to have some advice. Just remember, the more you argue about things, the longer and more expensive the whole process will be. It can often be very cost effective to get advice from a solicitor that is also trained as a mediator and/or a collaborative family law practitioner as they will help you understand all your options.