In a hearing at London's High Court which lasted less than a minute, District Judge Anne Aitken granted Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi a decree nisi - the first legal step to ending their 10-year marriage.
Saatchi, 70, and Lawson, 53, now have to wait for a decree absolute, which is usually issued six weeks and a day later, ending their marriage.
Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson confirmed they would not make any financial claims against the other, ruling out prolonged legal arguments.
Earlier this year Saatchi accepted a police caution for assault after photographs emerged appearing to show him holding his wife by the throat.
Saatchi later told the Mail on Sunday the pictures gave a "wholly different and incorrect implication".
But he also told the newspaper: "I feel that I have clearly been a disappointment to Nigella during the last year or so, and I am disappointed that she was advised to make no public comment to explain that I abhor violence of any kind against women, and have never abused her physically in any way."