divorce spot

"She never washes up." "He never washes up." "Stop copying me." "Stop copying me."

Scallywags operating a divorce conveyor belt have been exposed by a judge who noticed that lots of people were giving the exact same reason, word for word, for ending their marriages.

Until 'no-fault-divorce' becomes an option next year, a spouse seeking release from their marriage has to prove that one of five grounds applies.

One of those is 'unreasonable behaviour', and although Mr Justice Moor accepted that "much of the heat has been taken out of the process", the "simple fact of the matter is that the petitioner, at present, still has to prove the unreasonable behaviour of the respondent".

Although many spouses are driven to the brink by the same sorts of things - affairs, snoring, repeated failure to empty the bins - Justice Moor was firm that "each case must, of necessity, be different" and that "different spouses behave in different ways". 

As a result, he was sceptical when 28 petitions filed by iDivorces on behalf of 28 different petitioners used absolutely identical wording to describe how their partner "would go out socially on his/her own and basically exclude the petitioner from his/her life thereby making him/her feel very dejected", and "at least a couple of days every week" would "become moody without justification and argumentative".

Justice Moor said he "would not have blinked an eyelid" at the wording ordinarily. "It is, however, quite impossible for all twenty-eight respondents to have behaved in exactly that way."

iDivorces' chastened director, Matthew Eastham, apologised "profusely", and explained that his company’s process was to provide a template of standard divorce wording to a customer, and ask them if anything in it was wrong.

IDivorces’ efficient but unlawful approach had resulted in declarations that were untrue, said The judge. "If I needed to give an example, it would be to say that it would be incredible if all twenty eight respondents ignored the twenty eight petitioners and declined to communicate with them on about two days per week", he said.

Justice Moor called Eastham to say it was over and that he was considering referring iDivorces to the CPS for potentially perverting the course of justice. However, he decided a referral would be "disproportionate" and agreed to take Eastham back after the director apologised in court, insisted it was a "misunderstanding", and promised it would "never happen again".

Tip Off ROF


Dear Justice Moor 15 October 21 08:43

That's what happens when the law remains an ass. Its 2021 and one still needs to show "fault" on behalf of one party when seeking a divorce? Don't think iDivorce is the issue ... 



Gobblepig 15 October 21 09:12

Being made to spend any time drafting and properly considering these petitions will probably eviscerate iDivorces' business model. 

Lydia 15 October 21 10:26

You just need to revise the reference to grounds. There has been one ground for divorce since the 1970s - marriage irretrievably broken down so it is wrong for the article to refer to grounds plural. However you certainly can prove that one ground by one of several things such as unreasonable behaviour, adultery etc.

Anonymous 15 October 21 11:35

Lydia there with an easy win in this bout of Most Tedious Comment Of The Week.


Big round of applause. You made it look effortless.

Ann West 15 October 21 12:09

Really?  Who on earth cares?  They want to get divorced so just get on with it.  This petty judge thinks he is some sort of Columbo because he noticed that 28 petitions were identical ... after being presented with the 28 petitions all at once.  Go back over his work load and there are probably hundreds of identically-worded petitions he has allowed through or 'not blinked an eyelid' at.  Just represent the petitions and bung in different words courtesy of a thesaurus and they should be able to evade his amazing forensic analysis skills. 

And anyway, who is he to say that 28 couples in the same circumstances would not behave in exactly the same manner - that's just an opinion.  As for referring to the CPS for perverting the course of justice?!  What a joke.  

Hackaforte 15 October 21 12:44

Ann West, I don't know if you've met many judges, but adhering to the law is kind of a big thing for them. Until next year, which I agree is long-overdue, petitions need to accurately reflect the facts of each individual case. 

This sort of lazy madlib-style way of drafting has been used in immigration & asylum cases to catastrophic effect - frankly, iDivorces got off lightly. 

Anonymous 15 October 21 13:12

The judge will be fuming if he realises most lawyers use identical templates ripped off PLC.

Scep Tick 15 October 21 14:17

"it would be to say that it would be incredible if all twenty eight respondents ignored the twenty eight petitioners and declined to communicate with them on about two days per week."


Lost 4-1 to Fulham on Wednesday and 3-0 to Peterborough on Saturday?  Checks out.

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