Law Firm Accidentally Processes Divorce For Couple and Can’t Undo the Mistake

A senior judge recently refused to overturn the divorce of a couple who had accidentally been chosen from a drop-down menu by an employee at the Vardags Law Firm in London. The couple — referred to as Mr. and Mrs. Williams by the court — had been married for 21 years until 2023, when they separated. They were still in the process of arranging financial agreements for their separation when a clerk at the law firm accidentally selected them for a final divorce, which saw them legally divorced in just 21 minutes. All attempts to have the error overturned by the judge were denied because the public trust in a truly final divorce order was more important. The law firm realized their mistake two days after it had occurred, but when it asked a high court to rescind the final divorce order, the judge explained that, in reality, one had to go through multiple screens on the portal to be granted a final order. Ayesha Vardags, the head of the law firm, described the judge’s decision as “bad,” arguing that it allowed a computer to say you’re divorced. “When a mistake is brought to the court’s attention and everyone accepts that a mistake has been made, it obviously has to be undone,” said Vardags. “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 only option at the disposal of Mr. and Mrs. Williams is to remarry.