French citizens may be able to divorce by mutual consent without involving a judge, if recently discussed plans go ahead.
Under proposals discussed earlier this month by Minister for Families Dominique Bertinotti, divorcing couples could have their applications approved by a court clerk provided both parties agree to the split.
Claiming that “simplification is a good thing”, Mme Bertinotti told news channel BFM-TV that court clerks had sufficient expertise in the law to handle straightforward divorces, a move which would leavie French family court judges free to focus on the more complex cases.
“One couple in two will divorce. Do we have to make it more difficult?”, the Minister asked.
The plans will be included in a report ordered by her colleague, the French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, which is due before the end of the month.
According to a report in newspaper Le Figaro, only 54 per cent of French divorces are currently uncontested.
The plans have attracted opposition, the paper notes, quoting French family lawyer Elodie Mulon:
“Doing without a judge’s authority risks weakening the agreement and reinforces the sentiment — common about those divorcing — that they’ve been had.”