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Chile grants first legal divorce

[JURIST] The first divorce in Chilean history took place Thursday as the country's new marital code went into effect, replacing the code that had been in force since 1884. Until the passage of law No. 19947, Chile was one of only two democracies in the world not to allow divorce; it is now permitted in the case of breach of marital duties, such as infidelity or domestic violence, or after a period of separation whose length depends on whether one party or both wish to end the marriage. Sixty days of marital counseling is also required. Chilean legislators first proposed a law to allow divorce in 1914. Over the years the topic was debated [in Spanish] repeatedly without success, and the law taking effect today was only passed after nearly a decade of debate. AP has more. From Santiago, El Mercurio has local coverage in Spanish. The Chilean Library of Congress has details [also in Spanish] and background information.

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