(Dec. 2, 2007) A Special Commission of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies is analyzing a proposal for a constitutional amendment that would reduce to one year the necessary period before a couple can file for divorce. Appended to it is an additional proposal that would extinguish the institution of judicial separation, a legal remedy available before filing for divorce, and also allow a couple to immediately file for divorce.

Current Brazilian legislation does not allow a couple to file directly for divorce. Article 226, section 6, of the Constitution determines that in order to obtain a divorce, a couple must either file for a judicial separation, which will be converted into a divorce one year after the ruling declaring them judicially separated, or stay separated for two years and then file directly for divorce.

To become effective, the Special Commission must approve the proposal, the Chamber of Deputies must vote on and approve it in two plenary sessions and forward it to the Federal Senate for approval, and then the President of the Republic must sanction it. (Projeto que Agiliza Divórcio Pode Ser Votado em 2007, Mas Encontra Resistência de Religiosos, O GLOBO (O)NLINE, Oct. 22, 2007.)

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