Breaking up? Just Click Here…
Been ghosted online? Maybe you’ve even been dumped over Facebook? Well, now married couples are getting in on the act too. Watch this space – the digital divorce is coming…
You read that correctly: the ‘click split’, as we’re calling it, is a new initiative that’s potentially being rolled out in the uk later this year. it’s the first of its kind and it’s been suggested that it will make the divorce process simpler, less painful and maybe cheaper.
the pilot project is backed by one of the uk’s most senior family judges and could allow couples to submit divorce petitions online as well as upload relevant documents such as marriage certificates.
With over 110,000 divorces in 2015 and 42 per cent of marriages ending in separation, this news comes during what’s now known as ‘divorce week’: the postchristmas trend for a very literal life decluttering. according to one uk legal firm, one in five married couples are considering splitting right now, which makes for some uneasy thoughts as you look around your friends.
But could the new move towards dissolving a union online really help? yes, according to legal experts. While disputes over finances and children would still have to go before courts, the new proposal is set to make the process simpler and could increase the incentive to remove the existing part where one party has to take blame for the marriage ending.
‘i’m emphatically in favour of this,’ says ayesha vardag, leading divorce lawyer and president of vardags. ‘it could finally allow us to get rid of the vile, archaic requirement that means couples have to place blame on one partner, which causes hostility. if you can reduce hostility, i believe you can reduce the length of the process and therefore the cost.’
currently most opt for legal representation throughout the divorce process, with average costs ranging from a few thousand into double figures. But the new online pilot could see more opting to represent themselves, which for many would mean a saving at a time when things are already tight.
‘anything that can reduce the pain is a good thing,’ says divorce coach Sara Davison, author of uncoupling, who also welcomes the plans. ‘i’ve seen so many couples fighting over whose fault the divorce is. having to take the blame for the breakdown of the relationship puts a huge strain on the divorcing couple.’
the first trials of the scheme are in progress, with the potential for the digital divorce to come into effect as early as June. it can’t come soon enough for ayesha.
‘i see no negatives. it’s something that will bring the process into the modern age, cut costs and drama and reflect the reality of our daily lives,’ she says.
We can’t help but wonder if it really can make splitting any less messy. here’s hoping.
It will bring the process into the modern age