Divorce Days“I thought it was a late April Fool’s story, to be honest.”

As heard on liveline

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Would someone get divorced just to get three days’ paid leave from work? Stephen spoke to Joe Duffy on Liveline about reports that civil servants are looking for three days’ leave when they get divorced. He made the point that, while divorce might be stressful (and he’s been through it himself), many other things are too and people don’t get days off work for them.

“We go through stressful things when we move home, we go through stressful things when someone is sick, a relative… but, you know, where does it stop?”

Ah, says Joe, but when you get married in the civil service aren’t you entitled to five days’ paid leave? Stephen’s not having any of it. What about people who decide to live together? Is civil partnership included? And:

“In a good year you could get married and divorced and you’ve an extra six and a half days’ holiday.”

Stephen’s own circumstances are complicated, but he was happy to talk to Joe about them. He got married in 1985, separated in ’88, met his current wife in 1990. In 1991, he was notified by a court in London that his first wife had divorced him. He got re-married in Northern Ireland in 1993. But 10 years later, Stephen got a letter from a solicitor saying his first marriage was actually still valid.

You can hear all of Stephen’s intriguing story, as well as the rest of Liveline, here.

© The Listener 2018

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