Divorce Without Judges? France Puts Plan Forward
PARIS (AP) — France is putting together a plan to allow divorces by mutual consent to proceed without a judge, simplifying a process that some critics say is already too easy.
Social Affairs Minister Dominique Bertinotti confirmed the plan on Friday, telling BFM-TV that "simplification is a good thing."
Under the proposal, a court clerk could approve divorces when both spouses agree. According to the Le Figaro newspaper, divorcing couples in agreement spend an average of only eight minutes before a judge now. Bertinotti said court clerks are highly trained in the law and could handle those cases, freeing up judges for trickier breakups.
Bertinotti says "one couple in two will divorce. Do we have to make it more difficult?"
Opponents say the plan will further weaken the institution of marriage.