Anti-divorce ad ‘intended to mislead’
The newly-erected anti-divorce billboards with the slogan ‘Divorce without Reason – No Thanks’ have ruffled the feathers of the pro-movement who said they were simply a bad translation of no-fault divorce.
“I would understand if this mistake was made by people still studying to be translators, but in a core group of lawyers and professionals it seems it is being done to intentionally mislead,” Yes movement chairman Deborah Schembri said.
There was a difference between no-fault divorce and “divorce for no reason”, she said.
During separation proceedings, the responsibility for fault would have already been ascertained, and this would not need to be repeated during divorce proceedings, Dr Schembri said.
Besides, to obtain a divorce a couple would need to have lived apart for four years, while during separation proceedings abandoning a partner for two years was considered a fault, she pointed out.
“Those who fight for a fault-based divorce have no idea what these fault-determining proceedings do to children who are dragged in the middle to take witness for one side,” the lawyer said.
The news conference yesterday sought to highlight how the proposed divorce legislation was very conservative, and the main difference from the current separation legislation was that divorce would dissolve a marriage giving the partners the right to remarry.
Dr Schembri said: “When someone certifies someone dead, they do not kill him, but only say he has died. With divorce it is the same, the marriage has ended and therefore it is declared as such,” she said.
The Yes movement maintained that the cohabitation laws being discussed could not be compared with divorce.
“With cohabitation there are fewer rights and less commitment between both parties in the relationship,” Dr Schembri said. Ina statement yesterday, theanti-divorce group had no regrets about its billboard message, saying divorce “without reason” wasgoing to have serious negativeconsequences for children.
“With divorce without reason, children will face a new poverty and injustice when they find themselves living with someone other than their (natural) parent,” the No camp said.