Latest celebrity divorce – media misconceptions
The latest celebrity divorce has hit the headlines in recent weeks. After 19 years of marriage Louise Redknapp has submitted a petition to the Court on the basis of her husband Jamie’s unreasonable behaviour. This is one of the five facts a petitioner can use to prove to the Court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. On Friday 29 December 2017 the Court made the pronouncement of the Decree Nisi. Unfortunately once again a number of media outlets who reported on the story have got their facts completely wrong.
A number of reports seem to suggest it was unusual or shocking that the pronouncement by the district judge took only 20 or 25 seconds. However this is usually the norm for most uncontested divorces. The district judge is simply reading out the names of the cases where the Decree Nisi is being pronounced and neither party is required to be in attendance at Court for this. The media also referred to this as being a “quickie divorce” which is somehow only available to celebrity couples. Again this is a complete misconception as there is only one divorce procedure in England and Wales and everyone who is going through a divorce goes through the same process.
The biggest misconception the media has portrayed is the fact that the couple are now divorced and everything has been finalised. This is not the case and will not be until Louise Redknapp applies for Decree Absolute. The Decree Nisi granted by the Court last week only gave Louise Redknapp permission to divorce Jamie. She will have to wait at least six weeks before she can make her application and become officially divorced from him.
For anyone who is considering or already going through a divorce, it is important to know the facts and the correct procedure. At Barker Gotelee our family solicitors can in most circumstances offer a free initial consultation where we can discuss your situation in the strictest confidence.
Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors.