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Quicker divorces on the cards

Two new laws for January 2005 affect couples and children

A new law on divorce in France aims to simplify the proceedings for marriages that end by mutual consent (60 per cent of divorces in 2002). The five years of formal separation currently required, will be reduced to two from January 2005. The law for contested divorces will not change. January 1 sees another change that will allow children to take their mother’s maiden name. A change in the law will enable them to adopt either their mother’s, father’s or a double barrel surname. In the case of parental disagreement, the child will automatically be given the father’s surname. Children born later of the same father have to take the name given to the first born.