276 MIZAN LAW REVIEW, Vol. 11, No.2 December 2017
Family has been understood as an essential element in human life.1 “It is of
great legal interest because of the decisive role it has historically played in the
raising and socialization of children and in mutual economic support of its
members”.2 In this sense, family is considered as the natural and “fundamental
unit of a society”.3 Marriage, one of the essential ways to form a family, is
usually considered the most fundamental building block of human societies.4
Thus, the institution of marriage, found practically in all human societies,5
strives mainly to establish a stable framework in which children are cared for
and supported, both emotionally and financially.6 It should be noted that the
continuation of a marital relationship is an indispensable foundation to achieve
such function of the institution of marriage. Such essence of institution of
marriage will subsist if and only if spouses are willing to live together and the
marital relation does not come to an end. A change in the status of the spouses
(from married to single) may alter the rights and responsibilities of the parents
over their children. Divorce is one of the legal mechanisms through which
spouses can change their legal status to single, and set aside the matrimonial
bonds and marital rights and obligations, except for those obligations that persist
by law (for instance post-divorce upbringing of children).7 It is meant to say that
“[d]ivorce is fundamentally a dispute between the husband and wife, and
regardless of the reasons for their separation, the bond between parent and child
It is understandable that a decision to divorce is a difficult one and most
painful when children are involved. The split of parents has negative impact
1Bruce W. Frier and Thomas A.J. McGinn (2004), A Casebook on Roman Family Law,
published by Oxford University Press, New York, p. 3.
3 See article 34(3) of the FDRE and the SNNP Regional State Constitution.
4 Frier and McGinn, supra note 1, p. 25.
5 Shoshana Grossbard-Shechtman (2003), “Marriage and the Economy” in the
Shoshana A. Grossbard-Shechtman (ed.) Marriage and the Economy: Theory and
Evidence from Advanced Industrial Societies, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge, pp.1-36, p. 1.
6 Barbara Stark (2005), International Family Law: An Introduction, Ashgate Publishing
Company, USA, p. 14.
7 Id., p. 75.
8 Takao Tanase (2011), “Divorce and the Best Interest of the Child: Disputes over
Visitation and the Japanese Family Courts”, Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal, Vol.,
20, No 3, pp. 563-588, p. 571.