Divorce for 180 Italian couples voided by High Court

The High Court has voided 180 divorces for Italian couples after uncovering that they had been applied for fraudulently.

In Italy, couples must live apart for three years before divorcing. In England and Wales there are grounds for divorce that mean couples can divorce immediately after separating if they wish.

The couples in question avoided this problem by declaring to the English courts that they had the right to divorce in England. This right accrues to those people who can show that at least one of them has lived in England or Wales for a required period of time. However the couples in question in fact lived in Italy and used a sham address for the purpose of filing their petitions.

An investigation is ongoing.