Pre-Divorce Counseling Becomes Mandatory in Iran

Pre-Divorce Counseling Becomes Mandatory Pre-Divorce Counseling Becomes Mandatory

The growing trend of divorce in the past decade has raised some serious concern among the authorities, forcing them to step in and take measures to check and reverse the high rate of marriage dissolution (25%).

From the beginning of summer (starts June 21), requests of couples intending to divorce will be registered in an electronic system in 11 provinces.  The provinces with the highest rates of divorce are Tehran, Kermanshah, Gilan, Mazandaran and Alborz, said Anoushiravan Mohseni Bandpei, head of the State Welfare Organization (SWO), IRNA reported.

Pre-divorce counseling aims to discourage couples from parting ways. It will be made mandatory in 11 provinces and couples who seek to dissolve their marriage should first refer to the SWO counseling centers.  

“A pilot plan in this regard was conducted in South Khorasan Province two years ago and last year (ended March 20) it was implemented in Mashhad and five counties in Khorasan Razavi Province,” IRNA quoted him as saying.

In Mashhad, statistics show that counseling helped in reducing divorce by 50% compared to the previous year. In many cases, a couple’s decision to separate saw a change of mind after participating in the counseling sessions.

Stating that 47% of all divorces occur during the first five years of marital life, he said, in cooperation with the courts “we have decided to register all requests for divorce in an electronic system to ensure that couples intending to divorce will receive counseling prior to going to courts” as a final resort.

Marriage counselors have received specialized training. They offer divorce prevention methods and advise on ways of spousal reconciliation.

During the first nine months of the previous calendar year, around 20 divorces were registered every hour, of which six were uncontested divorces, according to figures released by the National Organization for Civil Registration (NOCR) in January this year.

In the same period, 135,667 divorces were registered in the country, an increase by 9.8% compared to the previous year when the figure was 122,340.

 22 Social Problems

In 2013, the Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, called on the Interior Ministry to prepare a full report on the status of social problems in the country, including divorce. Stressing the need to check social grievances, he called on executive bodies to look into the root problems of social maladies and address them.

There are 22 social problems that have been identified and need to be addressed. Divorce, unemployment, poverty, social marginalization (of those living in unofficial settlements), and addiction are among the top five.

The ministry’s Supreme Social Council (formed in 2013), has classified and divided by region national responsibilities in social areas, and assigned them to the relevant executive officials for implementation.


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