Brazil to allow rapid divorce

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brasilia, July 15 (IANS/EFE) Brazil has eliminated a lengthy separation procedure for couples that lasts for up to two years and will start the process for rapid divorce.

An amendment to the constitution eliminates the two sets of procedures used up to now to dissolve marriages on a consensual basis, one of which required the couple to show they had lived apart for two years.

The other procedure asked the couple to wait for 365 days after presenting the divorce petition to a judge.

“The procedure for the dissolution of marriage was simplified, thus reducing the interference of the state in people’s lives without altering the greater principle of protecting the family,” Senator Jose Sarney, a former Brazilian president, said.

The promoters of the reform said the simplification of divorce will lighten the load on the courts and save money.

Senator Demostenes Torres said expenditures on divorce lawyers would drop by about half, the official Agencia Brasil news service said.

The measure would also “automatically” benefit all couples who have initiated the separation process.

In largely Catholic Brasil, 64,869 couples have begun separation procedures on a consensual basis in courts and another 14,623 couples began the process before a notary in 2008, according to the most recent official figures.

Brazil first legalised divorce in 1977.


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