HAVANA, 4 October A total of 32,848 couples in Cuba divorced during 2013, an increase of 843 over the previous year, the National Bureau of Statistics and Information, or ONEI, said.
ONEI’s Annual report detailed that 10,689 of those couples had remained married 15 years or more, while 6,260 marriages lasted between three and five years. The growing number of divorces is forcing Cuba’s family courts to address more and more conflicts over issues that impinge on the welfare of children, the official AIN news agency said.
Courts must determine which of the parents gets custody of the children and which will pay child support, according to attorney Janet Manso. “The parent who will pay child support must do it whether he or she has a job or not, even if they work within the new models of economic activity (self-employment), and to that purpose the law provides appropriate mechanisms,” she said.
Divorce has been legal in Cuba since 1917, but it remained rare until 1963 – four years after the revolution – when for the first time the island had more than one broken marriage per every 1,000 inhabitants.
The rate has tripled since then, reaching 64 percent of marriages in 2009, placing Cuba along with Portugal, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Spain among the countries with divorce rates above 60 percent. Experts say this trend in Cuban society reflects women’s self-reliance. As a result, there are in Cuba many households headed by women. EFE