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Around 47% of all divorces occur during the first five years of marital life.
Around 47% of all divorces occur during the first five years of marital life.

Counseling First, Parting Ways Later

SWO studies show attending counseling sessions after couples file for divorce at the courthouse rarely produces the desired results

Counseling First, Parting Ways Later

To ensure couples in troubled marriage receive counseling before parting ways, the State Welfare Organization in cooperation with the judiciary plans to register divorce requests in an electronic system in 11 provinces with the highest rates of separation.
Henceforth couples will not be able to file for divorce at a court before attending mandatory counseling sessions.  
“This is to ensure that couples seeking a divorce will receive counseling prior to going to the courts to end the marriage,” ISNA quoted Farzaneh Amir-Yazdani, an official at the office overseeing the affairs of socially-distressed people at SWO ,as saying.
The system will be launched by the end of the current calendar year in March 2018.
“One day after registration, couples will be asked to take part in counseling sessions,” she said.
Yazdani, however, concurred that SWO studies show attending counseling sessions after couples file for divorce at the courthouse rarely produces the desired results.
“Once court proceedings begin, counseling has no effect on couples, whereas such sessions before going to court can help avoid unnecessary separations,” she said.
According to National Organization for Civil Registration, the 11 provinces with the highest rates of divorce, from highest to lowest, are: Tehran, Khorasan Razavi, Isfahan, Khuzestan, Mazandaran, East Azarbaijan, Fars, Gilan, Alborz, West Azarbaijan, and Kermanshah.
The scheme was piloted in South Khorasan Province two years ago and Khorasan Razavi Province last year.
In Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province, statistics show that counseling helped in reducing divorce by 50% compared to the previous year as many couples had a change of heart and decided to give their marriage another chance.
According to Anoushiravan Mohseni Bandpei, head of the SWO, counselors receive specialized training. They offer divorce prevention methods and provide advice on ways of spousal reconciliation.
According to official figures, around 47% of all divorces occur during the first five years of marital life. About 38% of all divorces are related to couples between the ages 25 to 29 and only 11% of Iranians has the chance to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. Last year around 240,000 divorces were registered in the country.
  Social Issues
In 2013, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, called on the Interior Ministry to prepare a report on the status of social problems in the country, including divorce. Stressing the need to check social grievances, he urged 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 High 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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