Videoconference divorces begin in April 2022

The topic of videoconferencing divorces is not new, but it has finally been approved. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the processes of digital transformation and telework is now a more consistent reality. However, in the digital world there are many other procedures that are starting.

An example of this are the divorces by videoconference that will start as early as April 2022.


Video conferencing is legal in the process of separation or divorce by mutual consent

The public health emergency determined by the COVID -19 disease boosted the use of remote means of communication, both in the public and private sectors, with new electronic public services having been developed and made available throughout this period.

In this sense, Decree-Law No. 126/2021 establishes an innovative and temporary regime that enables the performance of acts through videoconference, placing a new and relevant tool for the provision of services, with a high impact on legal commerce, at the disposal of citizens, companies and professionals.

With regard to divorce, the document states that the use of videoconferencing systems is legal in the process of separation or divorce by mutual consent, regulated by Decree-Law No. 272/2001, of October 13, in its current wording ;

This decree is valid for two years, after which it must be evaluated by the Government, considering its level of implementation, its scope of application, the technological model to support the performance of the acts and respective financial sustainability, with a view to to its eventual consolidation in the legal order.

It should be recalled that the diploma was approved on July 22, in the Council of Ministers and the idea was that the mechanism would be on the ground on November 15th. The Order of Notaries gave a negative opinion to the Government diploma, defending that, in a first phase, it should be restricted to acts of reduced value and onerous business.

The National Data Protection Commission gave a positive opinion to the diploma, but warned about the protection of biometric data and recommended the Government to establish a safeguards regime that allows those who are directing the act by videoconference to compare, in real time, the facial image of the interveners and the image of the citizen's card for divorces or other acts.

Videoconferencing divorces begin in April 2022 and the law holds for two years. After that time, it can be evaluated.

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