Paraguay has one of the lowest divorce rates in Latin America. With a large Catholic population, legalisation of divorce occurred only in 1992. There are profound differences in the approach to divorce and family law taken by the Paraguayan courts and the courts in England and Wales.
It’s important to get legal advice on your divorce if you or your spouse have any legal connection to Paraguay and are seeking divorce in England. Were you married there and now reside in the UK? Or are you or your spouse Paraguayan nationals? If so the courts of both the UK and Paraguay may have the power to decide financial and other matters on your divorce. Your choice of where to issue proceedings will invariably have a significant impact on your final divorce settlement.
Divorce In Paraguay
As we’ve mentioned, divorce was first introduced to Paraguay in 1992 following decades of opposition from the Catholic Church. Before 1992 many Paraguayans lived in common-law arrangements that were easier to dissolve if the relationship broke down. Initially Paraguayan divorce law stipulated that couples could only start the divorce process after three years of marriage. This requirement was removed however in 2015.
Under the Civil Code both spouses can apply for a divorce and, under the Law on Minors both mother and father share equal rights and obligations for any children following divorce. In reality there is little pressure put on fathers to pay child support, and minor children will normally remain with the mother.
Despite the formal regulations contained in the Code the patriarchal nature of society in Paraguay means that divorce still carries a social stigma, and many women are not fully aware of their rights to divorce.
Getting Advice On Paraguayan Divorce
Courts in England and Wales are recognised for being more generous than many other countries to the financially weaker spouse. If your divorce could potentially fall under the jurisdiction of the courts in Paraguay it may be in your interests to issue proceedings in England – if you meet the criteria in terms of residence and domicile. At Brookman we assist many individuals in this type of situation. Even if we do not have direct experience of the law in Paraguay our international divorce experience ensures that we are in a position to provide reliable and effective advice on your divorce if there is some aspect of Paraguayan law that could potentially impact your final settlement.
Or call us: +44 (0)20 7430 8470