Boris Johnson and the continuing myth of the ‘quickie divorce’

Boris Johnson is back in the news, and not just because he is the front-runner in the race to be the next leader of the Conservative Party. Stories in the popular news media are telling us that he is seeking a ‘quickie divorce’ from his present wife within the next six weeks, so that his new partner can move in to Number 10 Downing Street with him, if he wins the leadership contest and becomes Prime Minister.

But as we already know, there is no such thing as a ‘quickie divorce’. So will Mr Johnson get a divorce that quickly? The answer is: ‘it depends’.

A divorce cannot normally take place from start to finish within six weeks. The divorce petition has to be issued, the court must deal with the papers, a date is fixed for the pronouncement of the decree nisi, and only six weeks after that can the divorce be finalised. Even with the best will in the world, that process will take at least three months, and usually six months or more. In addition, a divorce is not usually finalised until a financial settlement has been reached, which may mean the divorce takes considerably longer than that.

However, we know that Mr Johnson’s divorce was issued last September, and it has been reported that he may have reached a financial settlement with his wife. If that is so, it could be that the divorce can now be finalised quite quickly. However, so far as we are aware, the decree nisi has not yet been pronounced and, as we have seen, six weeks must elapse after that before the divorce can be finalised by the decree absolute. Accordingly, it would appear that Mr Johnson will not be divorced in time to take his new partner with him through the door to Number 10, assuming he wins the leadership contest.

It has also been reported that Mr Johnson hopes to marry his new partner whilst he is Prime Minister. If he does, then he will be the first Prime Minister to marry whilst in office in the last 250 years. Only two sitting Prime Ministers have married whilst in office, the last being Augustus FitzRoy, in 1769.

If you would like more information regarding the length of time it takes to divorce, Family Law Cafe can help. To book a free initial consultation with us click the green button at the top of this page and fill in the form, or call us on 020 3904 0506.

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Family Law Cafe offers a modern, agile and compassionate approach to family law, giving you a helping hand when you need it and guiding you through the complexities of this difficult and stressful area.

Image: TV Interview With Boris by Garry Knight, licensed under CC BY 2.0.