A divorce will change forever

Vicky Saynor and husband David* dropped £20 for a DIY divorce kit in WHSmith, thinking their short-lived marriage would be over in a jiffy.

In reality, although both wanted to end their relationship, months of legal battles ensued and they had to “find” reasons and assign blame.

Vicky Saynor and her first husband thought their short-lived marriage would be over in no time


Vicky Saynor and her first husband thought their short-lived marriage would be over in no time
What followed were months of


What followed were months of “finding” reasons and pointing blame – Vicky is pictured here with her third husband Chris

Under current law, “irretrievable marital breakdown” must be proven in order for a divorce to be granted, and that requires proof of one or more of five grounds, including adultery and unreasonable conduct.

Mother-of-one Vicky, 46, who now lives in Cottered, Herts with her third husband Chris, 46, says: “I’ve seen how the law can work against you, even if you’re in a marriage that ended on end is .

“During my first and second divorces, it felt like the law was trying to trip me up. Even when I had a very amicable breakup with my first husband, the divorce process itself put strain on the relationship.

“We had to assign blame for the divorce to be granted. The fight wasn’t with my ex, it was with the law.”

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Vicky was 27 when she married David in 2003. On their second anniversary, they both felt the marriage wasn’t right and they started the divorce process.

She says: “The end of our marriage was amicable. David is a lovely, kind person, but we just didn’t see a future together and wanted to divorce quickly so we were both young enough to enjoy life with other people.

“We bought a £20 DIY divorce kit from WHSmith and thought it would be a quick process.

“We didn’t want to be apart for two years – which is one of the reasons for divorce – because we wanted to get on with our lives. To get us divorced earlier, the law required one of us to blame the other.

“It was ridiculous. There was no guilt, we agreed the marriage was over. We couldn’t even figure out who was at fault, so we tossed a coin. We had to find reasons. We blamed my work a lot – I had just started a new business and David said I work too much and I’m never home. We were clutching at straws.”

Their first divorce petition was rejected by a judge, meaning the couple were left with no choice but to continue searching for reasons to separate.
“We had to get even more extreme,” says Vicky.

“David had to say that I would go to work and not come home for days without telling him where I was.

“The legal requirements were very specific – we had to show that David couldn’t possibly continue to live with me if I behaved so badly.

“Had no choice”

“We had no choice. It’s either that or stay married. And even though we’re friends now, it put pressure on us because we felt like we were coming up with more and more bizarre reasons.”

Their divorce was finalized in 2008. Far from costing £20, Vicky estimates it cost the couple £1,000. At the rebound, Vicky met Ben* and they married in 2009.

A year later and after the birth of her son, she knew the marriage was not right and filed for divorce.

She says: “I was very vulnerable and the marriage was pushed by him, but once again I was let down by the divorce laws. I wanted the marriage to end, but because Ben didn’t, my hands were tied.”

Vicky had to wait FIVE YEARS – it would have been two if divorce had been desired by both parties – for the law to recognize that their separation alone was sufficient.

The divorce cost Vicky £4,000 and was finalized in April 2015.

When the divorce was finalized, the relief was huge. I felt free.


She says: “Being married to someone I didn’t want to be married to was very stressful and frustrating. I was stuck in a situation that I didn’t want to be in for far too long.

“I couldn’t go on and felt like my life was stopped. I felt trapped. I had met Chris and wanted to move on. When the divorce was finalized, the relief was huge. I felt free.”

Vicky, who married Chris in June 2018, adds: “I’ve been very embarrassed about divorce in the past. But the law should have recognized long ago that people grow and change.

“I had breast cancer three years ago and I thank my lucky stars that I was with Chris at the time and not in an unhappy relationship.

“We should be able to say, ‘We had a great time, but we outgrew each other.’ It doesn’t have to be spicy.

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“No one should get stuck in a marriage they are unhappy with because of the expense and stress involved. The old laws are no longer relevant. They came from a time when women were unlikely to have careers or money.

“Our parents’ generation may feel that they shouldn’t divorce. The law change is liberating for women.”

*Names have been changed.

She says,


She says, “The fight wasn’t with my ex, it was with the law,” here with her ex-husband
Vicky adds:


Vicky adds, “When the divorce came through, the sense of relief was huge.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/18105712/ive-divorced-two-husbands-law-made-it-impossible/ A divorce will change forever

Dais Johnston

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