Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi granted preliminary divorce

Nigella Lawson meets fans and signs copies of her book "Nigellissima" at Waterstones Canary Wharf on Oct. 24, 2012, in London. Tim Whitby/Getty Images

Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi have taken the first legal step toward finalizing the end of their 10-year marriage.

In a hearing at London's High Court lasting less than a minute, District Judge Anne Aitken granted the celebrity chef and art collector a decree nisi -- the first of two stages of divorce. The hearing was a fast one, according to the U.K.'s Guardian, lasting just 70 seconds.

The divorce of 70-year-old Saatchi and 53-year-old Lawson can become final after six weeks and a day, with the granting of a decree absolute.

The couple separated after a newspaper published photos last month ofSaatchi grasping Lawson's throat during an argument at a London restaurant. Saatchi, 70, was cautioned by police over the throat-grabbing episode, and shortly afterward announced that the couple was divorcing.

Earlier this month, they said they intended to have a "swift and amicable" divorce, with neither receiving any financial compensation from the other.

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