The Federal Supreme Court (STF) confirmed this Wednesday (8) the validity of the amendment to the Constitution that created direct divorce. With this, it was established that civil marriage can be dissolved by requesting divorce, without the prior need for legal separation.
In practice, the Court’s decision confirms that the legal separation of the couple is not necessary before requesting a direct divorce, which is carried out in a notary’s office and in the presence of lawyers for each party.
The measure came into force with Constitutional Amendment No. 66, of 2010, and facilitated the divorce process in cases where there is consensus between the couple on the end of the marriage and there are no minor children. In other cases, the dissolution of the marriage is carried out by the Court.
The case reached the Supreme Court through the appeal of a spouse who challenged the direct divorce mechanism. Before the amendment, divorce was only effective after legal separation for one year or proof that the marital relationship had ended at least two years ago.
The vote given by Minister Luiz Fux prevailed in the trial. For the minister, the legal action was extinguished from the legal system with the promulgation of the amendment and is no longer a prerequisite for divorce.
During the trial, Minister Cármen Lúcia, the only woman to serve on the STF, stated that she is discriminated against even though she is a judge at the Court. Throughout the country’s history, it has been possible to maintain the woman’s guilt in violation of marital duties in separation processes. “I am speaking out because, as a judge of a constitutional court, I have been treated with discrimination on several occasions.”
By the Supreme Court’s decision, the civil status of people who are already separated by court decision or public deed is maintained.