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Divorce Changes. Expert Urszula Nowakowska comments on the proposals of the Ministry of Justice

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The Ministry of Justice is planning changes regarding divorces. The process may take longer and the fees will change. Urszula Nowakowska from the Women’s Rights Center Foundation said on TVN24 on Sunday that such changes may extend the suffering of women experiencing domestic violence. “We are very concerned about this change,” she admitted.

The Ministry of Justice is preparing a draft amendment to the Family and Guardianship Code, which may extend the divorce process – inter alia, by the necessity to conduct information proceedings in families with minor children. There are also changes to fees. The fee for the divorce petition is PLN 600, with half of this amount being returned if the spouses do not want to be found guilty. According to the changes proposed by the ministry, the reimbursement of costs is only possible in case of separation.

Nowakowska: this is the time when the perpetrators of violence blackmail women

According to experts, such changes may make it difficult for people who are victims of violence to break up. – We are very afraid of this change that, by extending the waiting for divorce, it will be very harmful for women and will extend the suffering of both them and their children – said Urszula Nowakowska from the Women’s Rights Center Foundation on Sunday morning on TVN24 “You get up and weekend” .

– From what we know from the many years of experience of the Women’s Rights Center, it is not easy for women to make such a decision. They often suffer many years in silence before deciding to divorce, she explained.

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She assessed that adding time to reflect on the decision to break up was “treating people like those who can’t make their own decisions, are a bit like children, they need help.” – Extending this process, in fact, often extends this period of fighting for children. This is also the time when the perpetrators of violence blackmail women if they do not agree to divorce – Nowakowska added. She explained that sometimes it involves failing to appear in court or prolonging the procedures.

She described one of the cases from years ago, when the client after a long time decided to take a step in the form of a divorce case and the related division of property, but “the perpetrator did not agree to it and there was a tragedy – a few days before the trial, the woman was murdered” .

Nowakowska: domestic violence is one of the main reasons for filing for divorce

The ministry proposes that families with minor children, before filing a petition for divorce, must submit an application for information proceedings, at which both parties must appear in person. It can be a difficult experience for victims of violence. – In our opinion, in cases where we are dealing with violence, these proceedings should be even faster so as not to prolong this suffering. Violence should be a reason for a divorce on guilt, and now women often give up to shorten this period of suffering – the expert added. She expressed the hope that some more changes will be introduced in the project.

– The data we have from the research from a few years ago show that domestic violence and alcoholism, and often behind them are issues related to domestic violence, is one of the main reasons for women filing divorce cases – said Nowakowska. She added that there are probably more such cases, because not always physical violence, but also mental or economic violence.

She also commented on the changes to fees. – This can also be a barrier for many women, because women are often in a difficult economic situation – she emphasized.

Main photo source: tvn24

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