Cole divorce may only take months
Cheryl and Ashley Cole could be single within months and potentially before the World Cup if they decide to go ahead with a divorce, lawyers have said.
The singer dumped her footballer husband following claims that the England star was unfaithful during the pair's three-and-a-half-year marriage.
X Factor judge Cheryl flew home after a spell in Los Angeles - having pointedly removed her wedding ring - while Ashley fled their mansion.
Family lawyer Julian Hawkhead said finalising the split would be straightforward in legal terms and that the pair could be single again by June.
He said: "A case where it's young people and no children and both with lots of money, it should be an easy divorce."
For the past few days Cheryl, 26, was lying low in LA, where she has been comforted by dancer Derek Hough, 24, who appears in her latest video.
Her spokesman said: "Cheryl Cole is separating from her husband Ashley Cole. Cheryl asks the media to respect her privacy during this difficult time. We have no further comment to make."
The singer, who topped the charts with Fight For This Love, stuck by Ashley after allegations of infidelity surfaced two years ago.
But further allegations that his phone had been used to send saucy photos to a glamour model and indulge in "sex text", plus further kiss and tell stories, appear to have been too much of a strain on the relationship.