Pets, vaccines, extracurricular activities … the new causes of litigation in divorces


S. F.




Do we get divorced more? Do we get divorced less? This is the question that is always in the air and whose answer varies according to different circumstances and social context, although the statistics tend to be ascending. Confinement has been the exception to that rule. In the second quarter of 2020, while we were at home, in isolation and trying to protect ourselves from the virus, divorces were down 63.4 percent. It is important to bear in mind here that judicial activity was suspended. However, in the global of that same year, a decrease is also computed, of 16.1 percent compared to 2019.

In the first quarter of 2021, the numbers return to their upward trend and this is the time the General Council of the Judiciary tells us that at that time 25,387 separations, divorces and annulments were presented in Spain. The percentage of rise, yes, is more modest, 5.7 percent. Perhaps it is the beginning of the return to normality. Couples distance themselves and seek a divorce attorney. So far nothing new. Nor is it true that the main reasons for the discrepancy are child custody, compensatory pension and family housing. What is typical of the new social reality are the new causes of litigation during the process.

The first, and one that has become very important in divorce proceedings, are pets. As explained by Le Morne Brabant lawyer Jennifer Muñoz, who keeps the family dog ​​or cat worries both spouses a lot. At the moment, and until the reform of the Civil Code that is pending, animals are still considered things, so that, if there is no agreement, definitive or provisional measures will not be adopted on it by the Court. In any case, and continuing with their consideration of thing, some courts have chosen to attribute the animal or pet to whoever appears as the owner of it in the identification or chip documentation.

Covid-19 has also crept into family courts. Some parents do not agree on whether or not to vaccinate their children and, Muñoz says, assumptions are being raised in which one parent is especially careful with adopting measures to avoid contracting the virus and the other, on the other hand , adopt a more flexible position. Immunization against the virus has been identified as the most controversial subject in this regard.

Infidelity, in this case, economic, which consists of carrying out behaviors with which the couple would not agree, and are intentionally hidden, is another cause of litigation between spouses. Some acts of financial infidelity could be hiding bank statements, having secret accounts, keeping a secret salary increase to pay less expenses, or lying about the price that something has cost. This being the case, obviously, the affected person in the couple usually claims these expenses, although only some courts have empowered the injured party to recover the amounts.

Extracurricular activities also lead to arguments, fights, disagreements. Should the child go on this field trip or not? Is it good or not to aim for this sports activity or mindfulness? Families have more and more educational claims around them and parents often disagree about it, especially in relation to religious beliefs.

The participation of fathers and mothers in the education of their children is very important, says Le Morne’s lawyer, and it causes many insecurities and anguish in adults that many times they are not able to solve. In these cases, an attempt is made to promote an agreement for better protection of the minor, but if there is persistent disagreement, the possibility of resorting to “fast” procedures in family matters has been created in which what is requested of the Court is not another thing, that the faculty to grant the power of decision, on a concrete case, to the mother or to the father.

Who got the emotional memories

We talk about children’s school work, the drawings they make at home, things of great sentimental value. A process of separation or divorce is always accompanied by a great emotional load, among which, sadly, there is hatred and resentment. Faced with this situation, “couples tend to demand all kinds of things from each other and are unable to make adequate decisions by mutual agreement. In effect then, one of the problems that we find ourselves with more frequently, is the distribution or valuation that is made of those things that represent family memories for both of us ».

The different nationality of the parents, in an increasingly globalized society, gives way to a huge legal question, and that is that the nationality of the children, Muñoz warns, will be conditioned by that of the parents. Not every child born in Spain, for example, will be Spanish, a controversy that arises every day in the office, but will depend on what the national laws of the parents say in this regard. “This, in an increasingly globalized society, remains quite small, since defining the identity of a person with a simple Spanish or American, which is also granted by bureaucracy attentive to the nationality of the parents, makes no sense” . They are some important causes of litigation that separate fathers and mothers in divorce proceedings, but we cannot forget the consequences that the pandemic has left in some processes that are already open, since the modifications of measures due to changes in the economic circumstances of the parents.

See them

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.