Spain speeds up divorce
17 September 2004, MADRID - The Spanish government introduced Friday widescale reforms to the divorce laws, speeding up the process in which a couple can part.
17 September 2004
MADRID - The Spanish government introduced Friday widescale reforms to the divorce laws, speeding up the process in which a couple can part.
The draft bill aims to simplify the divorce procedure, remove the need to appear in front of a judge to ask for permission or to have to cite reasons for divorcing, and to introduce more safeguards for children involved in these cases.
The reforms are expected to be brought in next year and should affect thousands of people in Spain where the divorce rate is rising.
The minister of Justice, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, said the new law could affect "tens of thousands of people" as it will also apply to couples who are separated.
The new law will mean couples can part in between two to six months – instead of the two-year period which is the average at present.
The move comes as a survey published Thursday found in the last ten years, the number of couples choosing to live together without marrying has risen - along with the divorce rate - and non-traditional families have become more and more common.
Spain, traditionally overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, has experienced fundamental kinds of social transformation in the decades since the 36-year-long politically and culturally repressive dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco ended with his death in 1975.
During 2003, an average of 347 marriages ended each day, nearly double the figure of a decade ago, according to a study published this week by the Madrid daily ABC.
While marriages are fewer and shorter than 10 years ago, love is not dying out in Spain, it's just taking different forms, the survey found.
The number of people choosing to remain single has also increased. One-person households have doubled in the last 10 years in Spain, where they now number roughly three million.
According to 2002 data from Spain's state-run INE statistics office, the number of single-parent households nearly equals that of families comprising a couple with three or more children.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news