Divorce in Colombia is the legal institution by means of which a marriage that was valid is dissolved due to events that occur after the celebration of the marriage and that are incompatible with married life.
The grounds for divorce in Colombia are taxable and of public order, i.e., they cannot be modified by the parties.
Article 164 of the Civil Code establishes the following causes of action
- Extramarital sexual relations.
- Residual cause: it is a cause in which any behavior of the spouses fits, since it indicates that the serious and unjustified breach of the duties of spouse and parent are grounds for divorce. Under this assumption, it must be demonstrated that the non-compliance was serious and unjustified.
- The outrages, cruel or cruel treatment or mistreatment.
- Abuse: psychological with or without intent.
- Cruel treatment: cruel and inconsiderate conduct with intent to cause harm to another.
- Mistreatment: refers to mistreatment mistreatment.
- Habitual drunkenness: refers to the alteration of the person’s regular functions, whether mild, medium or severe, repeatedly over time to the point of becoming a habit.
- Use of hallucinogens and narcotics.
- Serious and incurable illness that endangers the physical or mental health of the other spouse and makes cohabitation impossible.
- Corruption or perversion of one of the spouses to the other spouse or any other person who is is under the care of the family unit.
- The separation of bodies judicial or de facto separation that has lasted for more than than two years.
- By mutual agreement.
Divorce proceedings in Colombia may be carried out through a notary or through the courts. If it is through a notary, the procedure is regulated by decree 4446 of 2005 and the request is presented (data of the spouses, the manifestation of will of the divorce, etc.) together with an agreement in relation to the effects that such divorce would produce in relation to them and the children. If it is through the courts, the competent judge is the family court of the defendant’s domicile or of the plaintiff’s domicile as long as the defendant retains it. The process is the verbal process of greater or lesser amount and the divorce decree is constitutive insofar as it constitutes a new civil status.
It is important to mention that all effects of civil marriages cease through divorce. However, the religious effects cease by means of the sentence of nullity or invalidity of the ecclesiastical court. Subsequently, the family judge must be asked to enforce the sentence and the religious effects of the marriage cease.