Category Archives: People

Brazilian Divorce Lawyers Are Busy People

Brazil is a deeply religious country. A large percentage of the Brazilian population is Catholic. Catholics aren’t allowed to divorce according to church law, but that doesn’t stop more than 300,000 people in Brazil from getting divorced every year, according to Ricardo Tosto de Oliveira Carvalho. Tosto is one of the top lawyers in Brazil. His firm, Leite, Tosto e Barros Advogados handle divorce cases as well as other legal cases. Legal suits of divorce in Brazil have increased by more than 46 percent since 2011. The reason for the increase is constitutional amendment n° 66 which was passed in 2011, according to Tosto. That amendment changed the previous deadline for divorce requests.
The 2011 amendment enabled couples to dissolve their union without the typical bureaucratic requirements that are so famous in Brazil. The amendment also allows a person who got married last week to get a divorce today, and that is a big change from the old law. Under the old law, a person has to be married for one year before a divorce request could be filed by an attorney. The couple also had to wait two years to get a divorce. Tosto says the new law is keeping Brazilian lawyers very busy because it eliminates the fault finding clause and the separation requirement.
Some Brazilians think the new law makes it easy for couples to get a divorce and that it goes against the teachings of the church, but Tosto and other lawyers disagree. The new divorce amendment makes it easier for couples that married for the wrong reasons to dissolve the marriage. Mr. Tosto says Brazilians tend to marry in their teenage years, and then they realize they made a mistake. The new amendment gives lawyers the power to help them get out of those young marriages.
If a Brazilian couple gets divorced outside of Brazil, the divorce is not recognized by the Brazilian authorities. Couples must have a Brazilian attorney handle a divorce in order for it to be official. A Brazilian can marry a foreigner outside of Brazil, and the marriage is valid in Brazil as long as it is registered with the Brazilian Consulate in the country when the marriage took place, but a divorce in another country between a Brazilian and a foreigner is not valid. Brazilian attorneys are dealing with more divorces between a foreigner and a Brazilian because of that law, according to Mr. Tosto. More Brazilians are marrying foreigners and then divorcing them, and that is adding to the workload of Brazilian divorce attorneys.