The couple's eight-year marriage is terminated with a one-minute court proceeding

By Simon Perry
Updated November 21, 2008 08:20 AM

It’s official! (Almost.)

Just one month after announcing their split, Madonna and Guy Ritchie were granted a preliminary “quickie divorce” Friday in the High Court of London.

According to a document released by the court, 50-year-old Madonna – the petitioner – said in a sworn statement that she is divorcing Ritchie for his “unreasonable behavior.”

In a court proceeding that took all of one minute, the judge issued a decree nisi – the first step in the U.K.’s two-stage divorce process – to “Ciccone ML” and “Ritchie GS” and 16 other (non-celebrity) couples.

Neither Madonna or her director ex attended the hearing. In fact, even their attorneys skipped the courtroom.

It’s known as “quickie divorce” because if there are no disputes in the next six weeks and one day, the couple’s split will become decree absolute.

Guy’s Reaction

Ritchie, 40, who has been working in London on the set of his new movie Sherlock Holmes, seemed relieved by the speedy resolution.

He was quoted in the Daily Mirror as saying, “It was never about money – never about her bloody art collection. I just wanted to settle it and move on.”

He added, “I didn’t raise any objections at any stage until she insisted the children lived permanently in New York.” (According to British press reports, the settlement calls for sons Rocco, 8, and David, 3, to split time between the U.S. and London. Madonna’s 12-year-old daughter Lourdes – whose father is the New York-based Carlos Leon – will live with her mother.)

Madonna’s representative in the U.K. declined to comment.

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