Plan would simplify divorces in France
PARIS — France is considering a plan to allow divorces by mutual consent to proceed without a judge, simplifying a process that some critics say is now too easy.
Social Affairs Minister Dominique Bertinotti confirmed the plan was under consideration on Friday, telling BFM-TV that “simplification is a good thing.”
Under the report requested by France's justice minister and expected to be laid out in mid-January, a court clerk could approve divorces when both spouses agree.
According to Le Figaro newspaper, divorcing couples in agreement spend an average of only eight minutes before a judge now. The paper said 54 percent of French divorces are uncontested.
Bertinotti said court clerks are highly trained in the law and could handle those cases, freeing up judges for trickier breakups.
“One couple in two will divorce. Do we have to make it more difficult?” she asked.
Opponents say the proposal will further weaken the institution of marriage, as well as make agreements harder to enforce.
“Doing without a judge's authority risks weakening the agreement and reinforces the sentiment — common about those divorcing — that they've been had,” Elodie Mulon, a specialist in family law, told Le Figaro.
Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, a government spokeswoman, said the proposal was among about 200 in the report.
“At this stage, we are looking at open topics that are of interest and deserve close study,” she said.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.