A website aimed at streamlining divorces and helping couples avoid expensive legal fees has been launched in Australia.
The site, called amica, was developed by National Legal Aid with 3 million Australian dollars (2.06 million United States dollars) in government funding.
It uses technology to guide separating couples to amicable agreements on parenting arrangements and property settlements without hefty legal bills.
The settlement tool uses an artificial intelligence (AI) program to search through a database of past court judgments to provide a recommendation on how a former couple should divide their assets based on their unique circumstances.
South Australian man ‘Kim,’ who used an alias, told News Corp Australia that he and his former spouse used amica in its testing phase after being told that their divorce would cost each party 20,000 Australian dollars (13,744 United States dollars) in legal fees.
“It was absolutely fabulous. Amica helped us create a document that has allowed us to move forward with the care of our kids, which was a godsend,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate that people go through this but, at the same time, if there is a third party or a system like amica that helps you come to common ground, that makes the conversation that little bit easier.
“It’s taking a lot of pressure off us when it comes to working out what the next step is.”
According to data released by The Separation Guide, a divorce information group, earlier in June there has been a 314 percent increase in the number of couples thinking about separating during the coronavirus pandemic.
Research by National Legal Aid found that 78 percent of Australians going through a divorce were willing to use a service like amica.
“There are almost 50,000 divorces each year in Australia… amica will encourage people to log on instead of lawyering up,” National Legal Aid director and project chief Gabrielle Canny said.
“Technology isn’t going to replace lawyers, and amica isn’t suitable for all couples but it will ensure people are better informed and better equipped to reduce the number of areas in which they disagree.”
My husband is slowing my economic breakthrough, divorce seeking woman tells court
Mrs Kafila Ogunsina, a mother of four, on Thursday, prayed an Ile-tuntun Customary Court in Ibadan, to dissolve her 12-year marriage to Rafiu, on the grounds that he was slowing her “economic breakthrough”.
Kafilat, a seamstress, told the court that she had not made any financial headway since she married Rafiu,12 years ago.
“Ever since I stepped into Rafiu’s house as a wife, nothing has worked for me. I have remained stagnant; moreover, he beats me like a slave.
“Rafiu also destroyed the little property I took into his house,” Kafilat explained.
Giving evidence before the court, Rafiu, however, opposed the dissolution of the marriage, but did not deny the allegations leveled against him.
Rafiu, a bricklayer, simply asked the court to help him plead with his wife not to abandon him.
“Please my lord, don’t separate us. She is my life, she is a good homemaker.
“I might never be able to get anyone like her,” Rafiu said.
The President of the court, Chief Henry Agbaje, advised the petitioner to exercise more patience.
Agbaje directed the embattled couple to produce their relatives in court at the next sitting and adjourned the case until Aug. 13 for judgment.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Delta CJ decries rising divorce rates, blames menace for social vices
A statement by Mr Timothy Agbaragu, spokesman of the Delta High Court, quoted Umuokoro as saying that the rising divorce rate was contributing to the congestion in correctional homes in the state.
The statement made available to newsmen on Saturday in Asaba, said that Umuokoro spoke shortly after he released 77 inmates and granted bail to two others at Ogwashi-Uku Medium Security Custodial Centre in Aniocha South Local Government Area.
“Between January and May, 157 petitions were filed by people seeking dissolution of marriage. The trend is scary, ugly and worrisome,” it quoted Umuokoro as saying.
It also quoted him as saying that 383 inmates, out of 2143 warrants reviewed in the five Custodial Centres across the State, were either freed or granted bail.
The Chief Judge observed that broken homes usually lead to juvenile delinquency which, in turn, leads to alarming rise in crime rates in the society.
Umuokoro advised parents to monitor their children closely and conduct adequate profile of the friends they keep.
He admonished youths to avoid bad company, saying that 80 per cent of inmates, whose ages were between 17 and 25 in Ogwashi-Uku custodial centre, were from outside the State.
“Like I always say, it shows that our family system is being threatened; many parents are not doing their home work,” he said.
Umuokoro also regretted that complainants had continued to prematurely withdraw from rape cases, saying that the situation had adverse consequences.
Chief Judge stated: “It is unfortunate that most of the victims are being pressurised to settle the matters out of court. In most such cases, the victims hardly get justice.
“It is a drawback on the advocacy by FIDA, our women Lawyers and other NGOs, who are advocating that people charged with such offences should be tried,” Umuokoro stated.
Umuokoro admonished Lawyers, who represent inmates, to plead for mercy rather than having the mindset of inquiring into their guilt or innocence, even as he implored them to exercise discretion in order to balance the scale of justice.
He said that he could not release or grant bail to inmates charged with capital offences such as kidnapping, murder and rape as such heinous crimes were rampant in the society.
Umuokoro said that one of the inmates granted bail on health ground was Benneth Madubugini, 53, from Okpanam, diagnosed of glaucoma, and Emeka Chukwuma, 19, who had been in custody since 2017 for robbing a victim of the sum of N820.
The Chief Judge, while granting the bail, said that their continue state in custody for such crimes amounted to economic wastage on the Federal Government.
Some of the pardoned inmates, who spoke with newsmen, thanked the Chief Judge for showing them mercy, and vowed not to go back to crime.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)
Man seeks divorce over alleged sex starvation in Ibadan
An engineer, Abidemi Dada, on Friday prayed a Customary Court in Mapo, Oyo, to dissolve his 13 year-old marriage to Opeyemi because she denies him of sex.
Testifying in court, Dada, who lives in Oke-Bola area of Ibadan, said:”my life has not been the same since my wife began the strange behaviour of constantly denying me of sex.
”My wife also ignored our pastor’s advice. There is no peace in our marriage. She also insults me,” he said.
He also alleged that his wife has stopped taking care of their th
Chief Ademola Odunade, the President of the court, urged the relatives of the couple to counsel them.
Odumade observed that there was still sign of love between the two and enjoined them to exercise patience.
He adjourned the case until Aug. 6 for judgment.
Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
My husband chokes, strangles me during arguments, woman seeking divorce tells court
A mother of three, Mary Alimi, on Monday sought dissolution of her 12-year-old marriage to husband, Isaiah, in a Mapo Customary Court in Ibadan on grounds that he chokes and attempts to strangle her.
Testifying before Chief Ademola Odunade, the President of the court, Alimi alleged that Isaiah was a jealous husband who suspects her every move.
“He copied all the numbers I had on my phone so that he check who calls me.
“He accuses me of infidelity which causes us to argue and each time he grabs my neck.
“Sometimes, Isaiah twists my neck.
“I brought Isaiah from nothing to something. He is biting the finger that fed him and I am done with him,” she said.
However, the respondent opposed the suit and denied all the allegations leveled against him, while adding that his wife was unfaithful to him.
“My wife invited me to join her in her prophetic ministry and we both formed the church together.
“The last act I could not bear was on July 16, 2019, when a certain rich man from Lagos State came with his childless wife and God was able to give them a child through us.
“However, I noticed some unholy romance between Mary and that man, that the man started sleeping with her whenever I went to work on our house that is under construction.
“Following the spiritual directive I received from God to investigate my wife’s escapades, I decided to climb the roof.
“I caught them together in the room.
“I confronted the man and he pleaded with me.,” he explained.
In his judgment, Odunade dissolved the marriage and awarded custody of the two children to the petitioner.
He ordered Isaiah to pay a monthly allowance of N10,000 for the children’s upkeep.
The Arbitrator advised them to allow peace and order to reign as they were no longer a couple.
Edited By: Razak Owolabi/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Businessman begs court not to grant wife’s prayer for divorce
A businessman, Shuaibu Abdullahi, on Thursday begged a Grade I Area court not to grant his wife’s application for divorce.
The wife, Hassana, a businesswoman, in her petition prayed the court to dissolve her marriage to Abdullahi, on grounds of drunkenness and refusal to observe the five times obligatory Islamic prayers.
Abdullahi told the court that he would bring elders from his wife’s family and his, in other to properly settle the matter between them.
“I plead with the court to give me two weeks for final settlement and not to grant my wife’s request for divorce. “he pleaded.
Abdullahi further begged his wife to pray for him so that he can stop his habit of drinking.
Earlier, Hassana told the court that her husband has refused to stop drinking beer and refuses to perform the five times obligatory Islamic prayers.
She however begged the court to dissolve her marriage of over 30 years which was contracted under Islamic Law and is blessed with six children.
” I will still be praying for my husband after our marriage is dissolved, ” she said.
The Judge, Muhammad Adamu adjourned the matter until June 11 for final report of settlement.
He had also promised to share his salary into two, keep half of it to himself and give the other half to his wife for upkeep.
He however begged the court to give him time to settle with his wife, saying that they had grown up children and grandchildren together, after she filed for divorce on May 21, 2020.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Businesswoman seeks divorce over husband’s drunkenness, refusal to pray
A businesswoman, Hassana Shuaibu, on Thursday begged a Kubwa Grade 1 Area Court to dissolve her marriage to Shuaibu Abdullahi over his drunkenness and refusal to pray.
She reminded the court she had earlier sought dissolution of her marriage in court on same grounds, sometime in June , 2018.
She said that Abdullahi entered an undertaking in the said year, to desist from his attitude but had failed to do so.
” My husband still drinks beer and refuses to perform the five times obligatory Islamic prayers.
” He has also refused to observe the Muslim fast, I pray the court to dissolve my marriage on grounds of his drunkenness, refusal to fast and dislikeness, ” she said.
She also told the court that she got married to Mr Abdullahi over 30 years ago under Islamic Law and is blessed with six children.
Abdullahi, however, pleaded guilty and begged the court to give him time to settle with his wife, adding that they had grown up children and grandchildren together.
The Judge, Muhammad Adamu ordered the parties to settle based on Abdullahi’s admission and said the marriage would be dissolved if settlement fails.
He adjourned the matter until May 27 for report of settlement and continuation of hearing.
He also promised to share his salary into two, keep half of it to himself and give the other half to his wife for upkeep.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Author sensitises parents on implications of divorce, separation
An Author, Udemma Chukwuma, on Friday advised parents against divorce and separation which have negative effect on children’s lives in diverse ways.
Chukwuma who gave the advice while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, said she had just released her debut novel “Left with Shadows” which projected the dangers in divorce and separation.
She attributed the increase in children engaging in different forms of social vices to lack of constant expression of love in homes, divorce and separation among couples.
She said children whose parents were divorced or separated suffer feelings of depression, hopelessness, loneliness, lack of sense of belonging, hatred and were usually tempted to committing suicide.
According to her, “Left with Shadows” addresses parents to desist from divorce as this could mar their children’s lives when both parents were not available to groom them.
She however dedicated the 150 page-book to every child from a broken home.
“I am talking to everyone out there with this book, especially parents who do not know the psychological and emotional trauma their child or children go through as a result of a broken home.
“From studies, majority of children who have embraced some forms of bad habits and behaviour have in the past suffered from such senario where the parents are no longer together.
“Such children, due to the psychological trauma of their parents’ divorce, take solace in friends who show them some love and at the long run might introduce them to some bad habits.
“It is of great importance for parents to stay together to nurture their children to be responsible citizens.
“I am quite excited over this book, there is nothing as fulfilling as having a copy of your book in your hand, the feeling is beyond words,” she said.
The author said leaving children in the custody of relatives could be dangerous as sometimes they could be abuse.
She said the book would be available at bookstores from June but presently available for pre-order.
According to her, the official launching would be done as soon as COVID-19 induced social distancing was relaxed across the federation.
“I love to write on topical issues which tend to correct the societal ills and am working on my second novel, it promises to be educating and entertaining,” she said.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)
Housewife seeks divorce over husband’s failure to pay rent
A housewife, Sakina Lawal on Wednesday prayed a Shari’a court sitting in Rigasa, Kaduna to dissolve the three-year marriage to husband, Abubakar Abdullahi over his inability to pay for rent.
”My husband has abandoned me. He does not care about me. He has also denied me of sex.
“I can no longer stay in a loveless marriage, he should divorce me if he is not ready to change,’’ she told the court.
In his defence, Abdullahi said has tried his best to satisfy his wife.
Abdullahi prayed the court to give him time to settle with his wife.
After listening to parties, the judge, Malam Dahiru Bamalli adjourned the matter until June 6 for the couple to explore avenues to settle their differences out of court. .
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Sadiya Hamza
*We apologize for the wrong image used previously used.*
Man seeks divorce from ‘troublesome’ wife over constant fighting
Mr Ibrahim Alabi on Thursday prayed an Ilorin Area court to dissolve his four- year-old marriage to Nofisat Mohammed, on grounds that she is a ”troublesome” woman who does not respect him. The petitioner, who resides in Ero-Omo area of Ilorin, told the court that she had no regards for him.
”She talks to me rudely. My Lord, I cannot contain her rudeness and troublesome nature anymore. She has no respect for anybody. Help me end this marriage,My Lord, ” the father of two told the court.
The defendant, however, objected to the prayer for divorce, saying;”I am not ready for any divorce.
” My Lord, I still love my husband and I have been making moves to reconcile with him”,
After listening to both parties, the Presiding Judge, Mr Abdulhameed Aliyu, adjourned the case until April 29 for report of settlement.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Sadiya Hamza
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