Ctrl + Alt + Del: Court dismisses 28 identical divorce petitions

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

At a glance:

The High Court this week has dismissed 28 divorce petitions drafted by online services iDivorces after finding that particulars of behaviour were ‘absolutely identical’ to each other.

 

What happened?

28 petitions were listed in open court after they were referred by Deputy District Judge McHardy, the judge in day-to-day charge of the divorce unit at Bury St Edmunds. Each petition drafted by iDivorces, an online unregulated firm, contained identical particulars.

High Court judge Mr Justice Moor considered it ‘quite impossible’ for each of the 28 respondents to have acted in exactly the same manner and warned director of iDivorces, Matthew Eastham, that he considered referring the matter to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). Mr Eastham ‘apologised profusely’ for the incident.

iDivorces claimed that standard wording had been sent to each petitioner and despite requests for changes, none had been requested, leading to identical allegations being made in all 28 cases, that were subsequently dismissed. The 28 clients involved have since had to resubmit their divorce petitions with amended and tailored particulars, no doubt causing considerable delay. Mr Justice Moor said that he released his judgment in order to ‘ensure that nobody else decides to do exactly the same’.

From April 2022 the law will change brining in ‘no fault divorces’, but until then, irretrievable breakdown of the marriage has to be proved in the traditional way.

 

What is a ‘no fault divorce’?

A no fault divorce is a divorce in which the dissolution of a marriage does not require a showing of wrongdoing by either party. You can find out more here: https://www.hanne.co.uk/no-fault-divorce-ending-the-blame-game/

 

How can we help?

Our family team believe that family & divorce requires a rather different approach to many other areas of the law. We pride ourselves on our high level of client care and communication and will handle your case in a sensitive and professional manner. If you want to discuss any of the above in more detail or to find out more about how our team can help you, please contact one of the Family Law team on 02072280017.

 

Contact the authors:

 

Hanne & co – commercial solicitors london - Elizabeth                                     

Liz Francis – Managing Partner                                                 Hazel Kent – Solicitor

E: elizabeth@hanne.co.uk                                                           E: hazel.kent@hanne.co.uk