Since the divorce law was enacted, eleven applications for divorce were filed in Malta, the first day that such requests could be made.
Nine of the applications involved couples who were already separated. The remaining two were from couples undergoing separation proceedings.
The law for the introduction of divorce was approved by Parliament just before the summer, and it came into force on Saturday, when the registry was closed.
Numerous requests for legal advice on divorce were received by family lawyers last week, but few couples were ready to head to court.
Some couples are still weighing their options that include reconciliation, separation, annulment, divorce and, soon, cohabitation.
Lawyer Joanne Vella Cuschieri explained they are also cautious about heading straight to court since several procedural parts of the new law have yet to be clarified and they do not want to risk having a case declared null on a technicality.
Another lawyer, Stefano Filletti also said it was a waiting game at this stage and he advised clients not to file for divorce before the complete workings of the law were clear.
Only couples who have lived apart for four years can apply, according to the new law.
While some couples are still in the process of separation and some have still to start the process, others are already separated. In some cases, the four years have elapsed while others are still fresh.
Most lawyers are proceeding with caution. They do not want to rush clients into filing for divorce before the law was clear.
The University of Malta’s Department of Law is working on preparing future lawyers to handle these cases, as lawyers prepare for the challenges of the new law.
A seminar on divorce will be organized for students this year, said faculty dean Kevin Aquilina. The credit on Family Law will include a section on divorce next year.
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