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THE 9 GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION OF MARRIAGE

Civil marriage can be understood as a contract of a “sui generis” nature, since it not only produces economic effects like other contracts, but also has a direct influence on a sociological component, such as the institution that is considered the fundamental nucleus of society, namely, the family.
It is for this reason that the legislator has tried to distance it from the common regime of contracts, covering it with substantial differences with the others, and in this document attention will be focused on the special form of termination of the legal bond between the parties that exists in this contract.
In this regard, it is worth mentioning that marriage in Colombia, unlike other civil contracts, has an exhaustive list of reasons for its termination, which means that if any of these grounds is not met, the contract cannot be terminated and the parties must continue to be bound to it until the concurrence of any of them.
With the foregoing, it is considered necessary to review the grounds for termination of the family legal business and first of all, to indicate that they are set forth in article 154 of the Civil Code, which will be paraphrased below for the sake of clarity, as follows:
1. When one of the spouses has extramarital sexual relations (is unfaithful to his or her partner).
2. When one of the spouses seriously and unjustifiably fails to comply with any of the duties that the law imposes on him/her as a couple (sharing a bed, for example) and as parents (duty of care, among others).
3. The outrages or cruel treatment by either or both spouses to the other or to the children of these.
4. The constant state of drunkenness on the part of one or both spouses.
5. The habitual use of hallucinogenic or narcotic substances by either of the spouses.
6. The event in which one of the spouses contracts a serious and incurable disease, which endangers the health of the other spouse and makes it impossible for the marital community.
7. When there is conduct on the part of either spouse tending to corrupt or pervert the other or persons under his/her care (children, nieces, nephews) and living under the same roof (grandparents, uncles, aunts, uncles, employees).
8. When spouses separate their bodies (stop living together under the same roof and bed) either by order of a judge or by voluntary decision for more than two years.
9. When both spouses agree to terminate their relationship.
As can be seen, the grounds do not correspond to facts of difficult occurrence, however, for lawyers in Medellin, Bogota or any other region of Colombia, there is a great difficulty in the configuration of the same, this given that in law there is a great maxim that indicates: “give me the proof and I will give you the right”, with which the difficulty mentioned above is of an evidentiary nature.
In this regard, it is worth adding that the evidence necessary to configure any procedural situation has a major barrier to overcome, which is that it must have been obtained through legal procedures and must be valid in every sense.
Therefore, these grounds for termination could be a burdensome and negative limitation for the lives of people who wish to end their ties, but who are forced to remain in them due to the lack of effectiveness of the law, as a mechanism to solve this problem, it would be interesting to consider that the marriage could be terminated by the simple unilateral decision of one of the spouses.
By: Santiago Pinzon Sosa

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