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…

Look (UK) - - FEATURE -

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

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