in several jurisdictions, lawyers are concerned about the slowness of the procedures

Among the chores of the profession of lawyer, there is that of tempering, sometimes, the ardor in love. “There are clients going through a divorce, who want to remarry, they have already planned the banns. I say to them: “Wait”., testifies Nathalie Baudin Vervaecke, president of the order of lawyers of Meaux (Seine-et-Marne). This is because in the event of a dispute, the time required to obtain the dissolution of a marriage before the judge can be long: several months before the first hearing, several more to build the file, and then a year, sometimes, before the judgment is pronounced and the effective separation.

“When the procedure lasts a bit, either it calms down and we look for a solution; either it stirs up, ”says Me Baudin Vervaecke

At the end of June, the Meldois Bar made itself heard in court to warn of the delays in family justice, as the newspaper said The Marne. This is not an isolated case: their colleagues mobilized in Nanterre, as reported The Parisianor in Toulouse, according to France 3. In the prefecture of Haute-Garonne, it takes seven months to obtain a first hearing, according to the petition launched by the bar association – signed by nearly 2,000 people – who deplore a " miscarriage of justice ".

Black-dressers fear that stretching procedures will add fuel to the fire in already strained households. “When the procedure lasts a bit, either it calms down and we look for a solution; either it stirs up”, note Me Baudin Vervaecke, in particular if one of the spouses considers it unfair to pay a relief benefit – decided at the first hearing before the judge – pending a judgment which could lift this obligation. “Delays fuel litigation”abounds his counterpart from Toulouse, Pierre Dunac, who is worried about the fate of the children: “In a year before the judge can intervene, things are happening in the life of a 13 or 14 year old kid. »

Read our archive (2018): First litigation related to divorce "without a judge"

An “accounting mindset”

However, divorce procedures have been simplified in recent years. Since 1er January 2017, in the event of mutual consent, the spouses and their advisers only have to file the divorce agreement before a notary. They no longer have to have it approved by the judge, which could take several months, whereas the magistrate, in almost all cases, only endorsed the files.

The workload of the courts has thus been lightened: according to Place Vendôme, the number of court-ordered divorces by mutual consent has fallen from more than 72,000 in 2016 to almost nothing today – almost, because there are still situations where a child asks to be heard by the judge (347 cases in 2021). These are, for the clerks, as many thousands of judgments less than “type, format and notify”underlines Anne Givaudand, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice.

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