Controversial fast-track divorce becomes law
30 June 2005 MADRID — A far-reaching reform of Spain's divorce laws were approved which allow couples to part faster and with fewer bureaucratic hurdles.
30 June 2005
MADRID — A far-reaching reform of Spain's divorce laws were approved which allow couples to part faster and with fewer bureaucratic hurdles.
The Spanish parliament passed the new law which has been one of prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez's major social reforms, along with gay marriage and a crackdown on domestic violence.
The Socialist government has claimed that the new divorce law will bring the country "up to date with modern society" and provide Spain with some of the least restrictive social regulations in Europe.
The new law removes the bureaucratic measures which were brought in to safeguard marriage when Spain first legalised divorce in 1981.
These forced couples to endure long and sometimes distressing legal proceedings, one of the reasons why four out of ten cases of domestic violence occur when couples are parting.
The new law will allow couples to file for divorce within three months of getting married, removing the need for spouses to have previously been officially separated for at least a year.
The three-month rule can be cut if there is evidence of domestic violence.
It also removes the need for either partner to give a reason for the divorce.
But most controversially, the reform allows a judge to order joint custody of children even if both parties do not request it or agree to the arrangement.
This has been attacked by the opposition centre-right Popular Party because it might mean a child is forced to be with a parent who does not wish to care for them.
But the Socialists argue that children should be allowed to see both parents.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news