Finding a good state school can be very difficult for parents, some of whom appear to be going to extreme lengths to get their children into the school of their choice. Family Court Judges in the city of Seville have noticed that the divorce rate has increased significantly and suspect that parents are faking divorce to help get their children into local schools. A change in the law, effective from the beginning of last year, means a child receives extra points if they live in a single parent home. In most cases, the children in this category have either divorced or officially separated parents. During March 2007 – the cut-off month for entry into state schools – court officials said the number of separations compared to other months rose by 50%. They said the same rise has occurred this year and are currently investigating whether these divorces were genuine. The Andalusian Regional Education Department said that since the change in the law they are receiving complaints that parents are divorcing to secure school points. A spokesman said: “There are some cases of this actually occurring, but they are very few and where there are cases reported to us we investigate and if found to be true the child is not allowed into the school.” He added: “Most parents who commit this type of fraud do it by providing false information about their home address or income, not by divorcing.” However, the so-called “quickie” divorce law passed in 2005 is contributing to the fake divorce phenomenon. Couples can now officially separate within three weeks, and Court officials said they have seen couples who have recently divorced, back in court after the school entry date, seeking a reconciliation. Faking divorce is not an offence in Spain.
PARENTS FAKE DIVORCE TO BETTER EDUCATE THEIR CHILDREN