Scores of newly divorced couples may still be married because of a series of blunders by officials.
Those effected were granted legal breakups too quickly, a Senior Judge said yesterday.
In some cases, couples submitted divorce petitions before they had been married a year – the minimum period. In others, officials approved divorces before the applicants had spent enough time apart.
Individuals who have re-married are at risk of having committed bigamy – an offence punishable with 7 years in prison.
Mistakes appear to have been made at the 11 divorce centres set up in England and Wales since 2015. All petitions for divorce, the document which begins the legal process – must be submitted to one of these centres. They are staffed by legal advisors under the supervision of Judges.
The news of mishandling of divorces was issued in a technical briefing to the Courts.
In such cases, the divorce will be null and void. The President of the Family Division has called in the Queens Proctor – a Government Lawyer employed to deal with family law issues – to tell the Courts to strike divorces out.
The problem in some cases might simply be that of men and women filling for divorce on the first anniversary of their marriage instead of waiting one more day as the rules require.
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