As of 26 May 2015 the so-called ‘Quick Divorce’ came into effect.
After 40 years, the norm which only permitted divorce proceedings to commence three years after spouses were granted permission to live separately, has been definitively modified.
Today, regardless of the presence or absence of children, if a separation occurs in mutual consent, one is able to file for divorce after just six months. If the separation is for judicial reasons, divorce proceedings can only commence after one year.
The term of six months or a year commences from the date of appearance – in the divorce proceedings – of the spouses before the President.
The new standard also applies to proceedings which were already underway at the the law’s time of entry into effect.
The new law also amends the deadline for terminating joint ownership of property between spouses.
It will terminate from the moment in which the President of the Court, upon first appearance of the relevant parties, authorises the spouses to live apart. Previously, however, community of property between spouses was only dissolved with a separation order.
As of December 2014 the assisted negotiation procedure came into effect.
This procedure offers spouses the possibility to separate or divorce through consensual agreement, without substantial Court appeal.
The procedure is applicable both in the presence and absence of children, and requires assistance and representation by a lawyer.
In the event that there are no children, the agreement, signed and authenticated by the lawyers of the parties, is submitted for approval by the Public Prosecutor to the relevant Court, for clearance which, once obtained, is sent to the civil registrar, who provides the subsequent requirements.
If there are children, the Public Prosecutor authorises the agreement, only if it is in the children’s interests.
Assisted negotiation may allow for an acceleration of proceedings, but calls for a great deal of cooperation from the spouses, and a near absence of conflict between them.