The tamper proof data bank technology of Blockchain will organize processes in many areas in a new way. This applies to industrial procedures such as the revision safe saving of data of any kind, and will also find its way into the private sector. In the USA it is possible to marry with Blockchain. In October 2014 Joyce and David Mondrus were the first couple to marry and have the marriage certificate saved with Blockchain. In principle, any type of information can be saved with Blockchain, and in this case it was the marriage certificate. The ceremony was held via Skype. For the legally compliant marriage the couple had to scan and confirm a QR-Code, which was then directly written into the Blockchain database /1/. In this way it is possible to marry simply and anonymously – the participants never have to see one another personally. Time will tell if many couples will opt for this service over a classic wedding.
Not every marriage is happily ever after. Quite the contrary: the divorce rate in 2014 was 43 %, meaning that for every 100 marriages there were 43 divorces. The record value was in 2005, where the divorce rate was at 52 %. Interestingly, in 1960 the rate was merely 10 %, which documents a large change in the private way of life of the population /2/. The risk of a separation is accordingly very high and should be considered before every marriage. Celebrity divorces are often reported on in detail by the press in spite of frequent disagreements regarding the divorce procedures. A recent example is the end of the marriage between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who ended their marriage after a 10-year relationship and two-year marriage (September 2016) /3/.
In order to minimize disputes caused by the divorce process, a marriage contract in the form of a Smart Contract can be signed. In the contract, an algorithm runs through a Blockchain. The contract is directed through predetermined paths. Once activated and exported to the Blockchain, the progress of the contract processing cannot be interrupted. This would be of great use for divorce procedures. It would be thus possible to automatically implement the procedures set forth by the marriage contract. Furthermore, the closure of the contract would not require a notary, making the whole procedure more cost-effective. This is applicable in situations where the notary/ lawyer must be involved in a percentage of the dispute. With a Smart Contract only the cost of the Smart Contract programmer must be paid.
The advantages of the Smart Contract are obvious. The previously defined divorce agreements would be implemented 1:1. This applies, for example, to the division of property, property ownership, and the rights of access to children. Consequently, in the case of a celebrity divorce, the public drag-out of a “war of roses” would be avoided, making the procedure easier and more pleasant for the involved parties. In the case of celebrity couples, the disputed values are high, making the conditions of the contract complex and necessitating an accurate programming. In the private sector with smaller disputes, the contract is a simple and cost-effective means of implementing pre-assembled forms.
It is also conceivable that lawmakers would introduce a requirement that marriages be documented with Smart Contracts, which would on the one hand significantly reduce divorce costs and on the other hand reduce strain on the courts. The lucrative business models for divorce procedures of notaries and lawyers would be destroyed through the implementation of Smart Contracts.