“Principle of solidarity”: the concept to consider if you are going to divorce

There are three established grounds for infidelity: infidelity, dishonest behavior, or serious injury.

Women engaged in the care economy and unpaid domestic work within marriage (housewives) live in inequality because they do not have access to paid jobs, lack stable social and political participation, have little time to study and their bargaining power is limited .

All this does depend financially than yours husbandand when they divorce, they are left defenseless and in a state of poverty, which prevents them from paying for their own maintenance.

Family law in Colombia has regulatory gaps, one of which is related to the regulation of spousal maintenance when there is a divorce.

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This directly affects women who, during their marriage, devoted themselves to unpaid domestic work. But… Why is this happening, what is being done to overcome the gender gap?

If the divorce process is done by mutual consent through a notary public, it is very difficult for the spouse to admit that their partner is in an economic imbalance and agree to pay maintenance.

If, on the other hand, no settlement is reached with her ex-partner, she would be liable Get started a trial in which he must prove responsibility of her husband upon the dissolution of the marriage and thus have access to the right to maintenance.

The lawyer Carolina Pinilla I usually doLL.M. from the National University of Columbia (UNAL), confirms that “this whole process would be unnecessary if from the beginning “principle of solidarity” which must exist between the spouses, even after the divorce”.

The Constitutional Court determines the principle as “an obligation imposed on each person by the sole fact of his belonging to the social conglomerate, consisting in binding his own efforts and activity for the benefit or support of other associates or in the collective interest.”

Filing a probable cause lawsuit to win child support is a cumbersome process for most women, and many do not want to move forward either because they don’t have the money to pay a lawyer or because they don’t want to go into it. in litigation that can take years.

This is one of the reasons why Pinilla’s investigation has a cross-section of gender and concludes that the lack of solidarity after divorce particularly affects the female gender.

“With this approach, I want to show that spousal maintenance cannot be a sanction, but must be awarded solely and exclusively on the basis of the principle of solidarity.”

What does the law do?

According to a report from United Nations and National Statistics Office (DANE) published in 2020, the production of unpaid domestic and care work is equivalent to 20% of GDP Colombian. However, women who want to divorce and have devoted themselves to housework and caregiving are at a crossroads.

Superior courts fill these gaps through judgments that determine child support regardless of fault and taking into account the state of need.

“It became a challenge to the law. High courts have always had to consider the criteria of the care economy, domestic work and obviously gender in their decisions,” says the lawyer.

An example can summarize what was happening until recently and what is being pointed out: if the man has managed to build up his pension, the wife has to wait for his death to get access to a survivor’s pension. However, she also built up her husband’s pension, working on a team from home.

The Constitutional Court is not the only one monitoring the issue: in August, the General Prosecutor’s Office supported a case that wanted women to contribute fewer weeks to receive a pension. These resources and initiatives are important because they can help prevent women from being left in a state of vulnerability and eliminate inequality.


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