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Cole's marriage over in 80 seconds

Cheryl Cole's four-year marriage to footballer husband Ashley has ended on the grounds of his admitted unreasonable behaviour.

The celebrity couple were not at the Principal Registry of the High Court's Family Division for the hearing, which lasted just one minute 20 seconds.

The X Factor judge and England soccer star were the first in a "quickie divorces" list of 29 who were granted a decree nisi by District Judge Christopher Simmonds.

The case is the only one listed anonymously - CAC v AC - but the names "Cole v Cole" were read out by an impassive court clerk to a court empty except for the media.

The couple married on July 14 2006 at Sopwell House Hotel, Cotton Mill Lane, St Albans, Hertfordshire, with their wedding certificate giving their status as professional footballer and recording artist.

Among divorce documents made public was a sworn statement signed by the 27-year-old Girls Aloud singer on July 28 this year in support of her petition for the "undefended cause" to be dealt with.

Asked if the respondent's behaviour was continuing, she replied "yes", but she left a blank beside the question of whether she considered it had affected her health.

To another question she confirmed that, since the date of the petition, she had not lived at the same address as 29-year-old Ashley for a period of more than six months.

The statement concluded with Ms Cole asking the court to grant a decree dissolving her marriage on the ground of her husband's unreasonable behaviour and to order him to pay the agreed costs of £1,500.

In the decree nisi document, District Judge Simmonds held that "the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent" and that the marriage had broken down irretrievably. The decree absolute will follow in six weeks unless either side makes representations to the court.

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