You may have seen in the national press recently that 180 Italian couples had their divorces obtained in England annulled. Divorce in Italy is a lengthy, convoluted process and it can at times be costly. It seems that the couples in question decided that England would be a much quicker and simpler alternative for them to divorce in.

There was only one problem to the scheme of being divorced in England…they had no connection to this country whatsoever! Believe it or not, you cannot simply just decide to go and divorce in a country with which you have no connection. I am sure that many wealthy husbands may look at the previous sentence with some concern but it is true- if you wish to divorce your spouse, you are going to have to do it in a country in which you have a connection, either living in that country or otherwise. The aforementioned Italians used an online divorce service which simply drafted divorce documents and provided the parties’ addresses in Maidenhead. It seems the local Court staff at the Maidenhead County Court became suspicious when they realised that so many people appeared to be living at the same address. After investigation, it was found that the address was simply a PO Box.

It seems the company which “assisted” the Italians was charging €4,000 a pop, which is way in excess of what a very basic and amicable divorce process would normally cost. Not only are the involved Italians now going to face the prospect of having wasted their money, but they are also not going to be divorced. Although it is going to be even more disturbing for those who thought they had successfully divorced in England and successfully remarried in Italy or elsewhere! They may unwittingly have two marriages which, of course, will mean they have committed bigamy.

Having tried their luck once, let us see whether those in question try for a second (or possibly third) time. I hear Mauritius is very nice at this time of year…

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