Why can’t divorcing couples just sign a piece of paper?

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LESLEY KEATING: A white-knuckle pursuit ending with a lesson in trust

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Apparently I am morally corrupt. Not only that, but I appear to be single-handedly helping our world sink into vice and sin.

Not bad for a fairly unassuming 30-something from Portsmouth, eh?

My crime? The terrible thing I have done? I dared to get divorced.

Now hand me the fire and brimstone, I’ve got a hot date with Dante.

The vitriol was directed at divorcees by the ever-reasonable readers of the Daily Mail, commenting on top family judge Sir James Munby’s calls for divorce, in some cases, to be made easier.

His plan would be for childless couples splitting amicably to be able to pop into the register office, sign a form, and for that to be that.

See you later, thanks for the tea, let’s not do it again some time.

And why not?

How I wish I could have done that. Instead of taking six months from start to finish (and costing quite a lot of money), it could have been done just about as quickly as it took to get married in the first place.

After all, apart from the brilliant day itself, it’s only really a matter of signing a piece of paper in indelible ink and trying not to snigger that you were number 69 in the register.

Last week me and my ex-husband were chatting about a few things and we’ve agreed to go out for a couple of drinks to have a catch-up.

It’s not something that happens overly-regularly, but I like the fact that it still does – after all, we were together for about a decade.

We didn’t need a protracted process of blame-apportioning and asset-splitting. Each of us walked out of our house with what we put in (though I got his TV and he got my Kenwood Chef).

And I reckon that’s exactly how it should be.

We were, and are, very fair people. I’d like to think most of us are.

And I know that if we’d ever had children, then that situation wouldn’t have changed and access would have been just as fair.

So why make a horrible situation even worse with a protracted divorce process that only the most acrimonious or complex cases are ever likely to need?