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Divorce Now Law in Chile

In a move that reduces the number of countries forbiding divorce in the world to Malta and the Philipines, (Vatican City is another, and possibly Andorra for any sticklers in the house, Ireland caved in 1995) Chile has decided to allow divorce.

I am continually amazed that our social contracting world is so insistent that marriage contracts be nullifiable at the whim of either party. I wish credit card companies took the same view toward contractual obligations!

But the silver lining, if there is such a thing when it comes to divorce, is that Chile laid down some pretty exacting standards. Specifically:

The new law allows couples to get a divorce only after living apart for at least one year, if both spouses agree, and three years if only one party agrees.

The waiting period can be avoided if one spouse proves there has been violations of marital duties by a partner, such as domestic violence, homosexuality, prostitution, drug addiction or a criminal conviction.

The law also requires couples seeking a divorce to undergo counseling for at least 60 days.

If divorce is necessary in a pluarlistic society (a debatable question in itself), the Chilean version is definitely a refreshing departure from the no-fault version that has destroyed so many families, and wounded so many children.


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