Couple gets divorced due to lawyer's mistake

Couple gets divorced due to lawyer's mistake

An employee at a prestigious law firm in London inputs incorrect information onto an online portal which causes the wrong couple to get divorced. 

A lawyer looking over something with a couple who are getting divorced
A lawyer looking over something with a couple who are getting divorced/Pexels/@Karolina Grabowska

Divorce isn't something that any couple willingly thinks about when they are entering into a marriage based on love. 

But, sadly, sometimes things take a turn for the worse, and many couples only see this as their resolution. Part of life, right? 

One couple was not expecting things to end quite the way they ended. 

"A couple were divorced by mistake after solicitors at a leading law firm made a computer error but a senior judge has said it cannot be overturned." (The Guardian)

The couple in question was separated but was in the process of finalising the financial arrangements surrounding their split. 

Their matter was being handled by a London Law Firm, Vardags, headed by Ayesha Vardag, the self-styled “diva of divorce”. Vardag used an online portal by mistake to issue a final order for the couple's divorce. 

"Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the family division, explained lawyers had intended to apply for a divorce for another client 'but inadvertently opened the electronic case file in ‘Williams v Williams’ and proceeded to apply for a final order in that case'." (The Guardian)

The law firm only realised its mistake two days after it happened and took the necessary steps to correct its error. But it was too late...

They brought it down to 'clicking the wrong button', but, sadly, Sir Andrew McFarlane rejected their application. According to The Guardian, he said, "There is a strong public policy interest in respecting the certainty and finality that flows from a final divorce order and maintaining the status quo that it has established.” 

He went on to say that like many other online processes, there are many steps that the user has to go through before finalising something like a divorce order, it cannot be as simple as "clicking the wrong button". 

Of course, Vardag was not happy with the ruling and said: “When a mistake is brought to a court’s attention, and everyone accepts that a mistake has been made, it obviously has to be undone … That means that, for now, our law says that you can be divorced by an error made on an online system. And that’s just not right, not sensible, not justice.” (The Guardian)

Not much has been said in the media about the couple and how they felt about all this, we hope that they can come to some understanding despite what the law has deemed as 'final'. 

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Image Courtesy of Pexels


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