District Judge Caroline Reid pronounced the decree nisi at the High Court's Family Division in London during a hearing which lasted barely a minute with neither the couple nor their lawyers present.
The case -- Ciccone ML vs Ritchie GS -- was dealt with amid conflicting reports about how much of the US singer's fortune her film director husband would receive under an agreed settlement.
The Daily Mirror reported Friday that Ritchie had expressed relief at the speed of the divorce and stressed that access to the couple's children and not money was the biggest issue for him.
"Thank God," the paper quoted him as saying. "It was never about money -- never about her bloody art collection. I just wanted to settle it and move on... I didn't raise any objections at any stage until she insisted the children lived permanently in New York."
But the Evening Standard newspaper quoted an unnamed source close to Madonna as saying: "It's not true that Guy Ritchie hasn't received a penny from all this. I think that is fantasy land. It's certainly not nothing."
He is thought to be worth 30 million pounds (36 million euros, 45 million dollars) compared to Madonna's 300 million pound fortune.
The couple's two sons, Rocco, eight, and three-year-old David Banda -- whom they adopted in Malawi -- will split their time between Britain and the US under the terms of the divorce, reports said.
At Friday's brief court hearing, a legal clerk read out a list of 17 couples including Madonna and Ritchie, after which judge Reid pronounced the decree.
A decree nisi is a provisional decree of divorce and must be followed by a decree absolute about six weeks later which legally dissolves the marriage and means that the couple are free to marry other people.
Afterwards, the court released a document in which Madonna stated that Ritchie's unreasonable behaviour was continuing and that they had not lived together at the same address for six months.
By agreeing to a "quickie" divorce, the couple avoided a high-profile, big money split like that of Beatles legend Paul McCartney and ex-model Heather Mills earlier this year.
Madonna, 50, is regarded as the world's highest-earning female singer -- Forbes.com put her at the top of its latest "cash queens of music" list with earnings of 72 million dollars between June 2006 and June 2007.
She and 40-year-old Ritchie announced in mid-October that they were to divorce, nearly eight years after they married in a lavish ceremony at a Scottish castle in December 2000 attended by stars including Gwyneth Paltrow and Sting.
Britain's Sun newspaper, which broke the story of their divorce last month, said Madonna thought he was lazy, tightfisted and preferred the pub to his family, while Ritchie allegedly thought she was a control freak obsessed with her Kabbalah faith.
The couple own several properties in Britain including a townhouse overlooking London's Regent's Park; Ashcombe House, an 18th century house and country estate in Wiltshire, southwest England and a stake in a London pub.
In the US, they own a palatial mansion in Beverly Hills, California, as well as apartments in New York.