Divorce service sparks row in Tunisia

Tunisia’s bar association. (Photo: Facebook)

TUNIS — Tunisia’s bar association claimed Monday a company offering a three-step pathway to divorce undermines family values, and launched legal proceedings against the firm.اضافة اعلان

Billboards appeared last week across the capital Tunis advertising “Tala9” (“Divorce” in Arabic), “the first Tunisian website to support your decision”.

“Divorce: The decision is yours, we take care of the process,” say the ads.

The campaign has come under fire from conservatives and triggered a backlash, not least from the North African country’s bar association, which accused Tala9 of “encouraging” divorce.

“That is unacceptable and poses a threat to the family,” the association said in a statement.

Hatem Mziou, head of the bar association, called the service a scam that undermines the legal profession.

The lawsuit alleges that Tala9 uses lawyers who are not properly registered.

Tala9 says on its website that “we don’t encourage people to divorce, but if you’ve taken the decision, our role is to support you”.

It pledges to see through the process for 1,200 dinars ($370) with “no hidden fees”.

“Specialists are available to answer your questions about every stage of the divorce process,” the website says.

The Tunis municipality has given the firm two weeks to remove its billboards.

Last year, 13,000 Tunisian couples completed divorce proceedings, according to the minister for women, families, and children Amel Belhaj Moussa, who called the number “very high” for Tunisia’s population of around 12 million.

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