Judiciary Steps in to Stop Uncontested Divorce

Judiciary Steps in to Stop Uncontested Divorce Judiciary Steps in to Stop Uncontested Divorce

The growing trend of uncontested divorce in recent years has raised concerns among officials across the board, forcing the Judiciary to step in and take measures to reverse the trend.

Parnian Ghavam, head of the Judiciary’s Social Work and Counseling Office said, “Divorce by mutual consent, without counseling, is no more allowed and is invalid.”

A decree has been issued and those seeking divorce should first take recourse to counseling. “From now on, without counseling it will not be possible to register divorce by mutual consent,” IRNA quoted her as saying.

Pre-divorce counseling is already offered to couples in courts, but not in all cases or in an effective manner, she said.

In order to increase the quality of counseling services, from the next year (March 21, 2016) all counselors are obliged to undergo specialized training programs. Only after passing a test they can be present in courts as pre-divorce advisors.

“Although at present, pre-divorce counseling is not completely ineffective, however, its impact is relatively low,” she said. As an example, in Kohgiluye and Boyer-Ahmad Province only 5% of couples who intended to divorce, reconsidered their decision after receiving counseling and decided to patch up by using strategies provided by counselors.

“The objective of counseling is to bring down the rate of divorce, in particular by mutual consent.” In fact the aim of counseling is to consolidate the foundations of the family and make efforts at reconciliation, by helping prevent an increase in family conflicts and separation.

The rate of effectiveness of counseling varies from 5% to 40%.

The state-appointed counselor’s role is to assess if either partner has behavioral or character disorder. If a counselor rules that a couple needs more sessions, then the judge decides whether or not to approve the divorce.

Iran’s average divorce rate peaked at 21% last year, with big cities showing far higher rates.

One in three marriages fails in Tehran. In its northern quarter, home to the more affluent metropolitan elite, the figure is more than 40%. And most divorces are by mutual consent.

According to statistics, there were more than 30,000 divorces in Tehran last year, 90% by mutual consent.

The official reasons for splitting up are lack of affection, family interference, domestic violence and drug addiction.