In only two years Spain’s express divorce law has lead to an increase of 50% in the number of children who are victims of family breakups. According to the Institute for Family Policy, together with Belgium, Spain is now the country with the highest rate of marriage failures in the European Union.
Children under the age of 18 affected by divorce reached 80,849 in the year 2004. That figure rose to 117,877 in 2006.
According to Mariano Martinez-Aedo, vice president of the Institute, “family breakups are a social drama that affects not only the spouses but especially underage children.”
He said it was catastrophic that on the one hand norms that facilitate easy divorce are implemented and on the other, mechanisms, public helps, and social support are not developed to avoid it or at least reduce it. The express divorce law is truly suicidal legislation that must urgently be rectified, he added.
The Institute for Family Policy has suggested preventive measures be adopted at the national level to help families, including campaigns to make people aware of the issue, increases in family aid and granting higher status to the family as a constitutional good.