Experts say streamlining of divorce laws will be devastating for the family

The President of the Institute for Family Policy in Spain, Eduardo Hertfelder, said the Socialist government’s proposal to speed up the divorce process in Spain by not requiring a time of separation signifies a true regression in the policies that are supposed to help resolve marriage crises and that the measure will make the rupture of marriage bonds easier rather than less common.

The analysis carried out by the Institute resulted in the following conclusions:

  1. The explosion of marriage ruptures on a national level continues: 1 rupture every 4.1 minutes (126,742 divorces), an increase in 10% from 2002.
  2. Four regions in Spain (Catalonia, Andalusia, Madrid and Valencia) account for 60% of marriage ruptures, with the highest rate (1 in 5) in Catalonia.
  3. Married couples in crisis opt for separation rather than divorce
  4. Married couples in crisis opt for the most peaceful rupture possible, with separation being more peaceful than divorce.
  5. Between 20-25 % of separated couples end up reconciling. This means that each year approximately 15,000 marriages are reconciled. Between 5-10% of marriages remain in a state of separation rather than proceeding definitively to divorce.

Among the solutions proposed by the Institute include “having the political will to solve and/or reduce the problem,” “developing active public policies which favor the family and preventative measures,” and lastly, implementing “public and/or private organisms (Centers of Assistance, Family Therapy) composed of experts in distinct areas who help married couples to overcome their crises.”

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