As a family lawyer I watched Channel 4's television show, Married at First Sight, with interest earlier this year. The premise was relatively simply, but rather controversial. Single people who were keen to settle down and get married handed over the ability to choose their spouse. Instead, they left it to a television show to potentially find them a life partner using a variety of tests and criteria which we were told would establish their 'perfect match'.
This week one of the couples matched in that process have apparently started divorce proceedings, although they separated shortly after their marriage. They will have been required to wait at least a year, as it is not possible to start divorce proceedings prior to that period of time passing.
Whilst it may be easy to criticise people who have chosen to embark on marriage in a way that may seem foolhardy, the reality is that marriages can be difficult to sustain however they start. Marriages end after varying amounts of time for many different reasons. Choosing a spouse based on 'science' may have seemed a tempting proposition - separated off from the unpredictability of attraction and chemistry. However, in reality the programme has thus far had no success in the two years it has been running. Therefore it seems perhaps falling in love in the old fashioned way does still have the greatest chance of success.
Whenever a marriage does come to an end (regardless of the circumstances) it is important for people to have the right support - both legally and emotionally to help those individuals through that experience.
Ben and Stephanie Jardine, the only couple from the latest series of Married At First Sight, have begun divorce proceedings. The pair got hitched on the Channel 4 show in December 2017 but split just once month after their marriage aired after Ben announced he was leaving his wife for a friend on live radio. After their whirlwind romance, which saw them meet for the first time at the altar, the estranged couple were both seen beaming as they left a London solicitors to begin their divorce.