Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Splitting up is hard to do, especially in a Romanian town with a steep divorce fee

By The Associated Press

BUCHAREST, Romania — Divorce can be expensive, but in Romania you'd better hope you're not living in the town of Sangeorgiu de Mures when you decide to untie the knot.

Several months ago, a new law went into effect in Romania allowing some couples to be divorced by town hall officials. Each municipality can set the fee, and huge discrepancies have emerged.

In Sangeorgiu de Mures — a town of 8,000 people, many of them Catholic — it costs a whopping 10,000 lei (€2,380,$3,370), or nearly 60 per cent of an average annual salary.

That is 2,000 times more than what it would cost in Bucharest, the capital.

Town officials said Wednesday the goal is to discourage divorce and that it appears to be working since three unhappy couples decided to remain husband and wife after seeing the bill.

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