Critics of the new 'easy divorce' laws finally have a case to back up their claims that the law will lead to failed marriages that could have been saved, when Kevin and Maureen Galbraith of Sheffield got divorced this week after twenty years of marriage.
"This is exactly what we've been talking about," said Val Leigh, one of the group who originally opposed the bill. "The Galbraith's could have had a quick chat with a marriage guidance councillor and sorted out their issues."
According to Leigh, it is quicker and cheaper to arrange a divorce now than a session with a councillor.
The Galbraith's themselves are adamant that they did the right thing, despite having two teenage sons.
"I couldn't take it any more," said Kevin Galbraith. "We'd been married twenty years. She has driven me nuts for nineteen of them. We only stayed together for the kids."
Kevin cited his wife's obsessive paper piling as one of the justifications for the divorce.
"She'd leave little piles of letters, soduko puzzles, notes to herself and bills all over the house," said Kevin. "Some in the kitchen, some on the sofa in the conservatory, another pile in the hall. There'd be an ever growing pile by the couch in the living room. And woe betide me if I ever tidied them up and threw away stuff that was three years out of date. And the magazines! We had magazines dating back to before the kids were born still in the plastic wrapper."
"I'd hate it when Kevin threw away my stuff," said Maureen Galbraith. "He'd grab huge piles of my stuff and throw them into the paper recycling bin. I'd have to go digging through it to get it out. I'm glad we're divorced."
Kevin also cited his wife's tardiness. "It was infuriating. If we needed to be somewhere at one O'clock and it was thirty minutes drive away, I'd be lucky if she was ready at half one. She was constantly moaning that she'd missed trains, appointments and slots at the gym. Or she'd been stressed out because she had too much to do. It drove me mad, and there was no telling her."
Maureen remembered that particular trait differently. "Kevin would badger me constantly about leaving, even when I wasn't ready. So what if we missed the first five minutes of a film? It's only the trailers anyway."
Kevin got custody of the children when his wife was late to the hearing.
Leigh believes that such minor irritations could have been quickly solved with a ten minute therapist chat.
"There was nothing insurmountable in the problems in their relationship," said Leigh. "Quite the opposite."
Leigh is worried about the children in the marriage.
"It's the kids I feel sorry for," she said. "They're really ugly."