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Hoax Alert

Fake News: In Ghana You Do NOT Need To Dress Like Your Wedding Day To Get Divorced

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 10 Dec 2018 20:16:24 Z)

Is there a law on the books in Ghana that says you need to dress up like on your wedding day before you can get a divorce? No, that's not true: the hoax recently appeared on a Spanish satire website but it has been going around for some time based on a photoshopped picture, it is not true.

The most recent incarnation appeared in an article published on December 9, 2018 titled "In Ghana you must to dress like your wedding day to get divorced" (archived here) which opened:

There are numerous curious laws in different countries of the African continent. One of them exists in the Republic of Ghana, at the southeast of Africa, where divorce is permitted but on one condition. Ghanaians are allowed to divorce but as long as people attend to court dressed the same way when they were married.

Screenshot of https://thereisnews.com/in-ghana-you-must-to-dress-like-your-wedding-day-to-get-divorced/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

In Ghana you must to dress like your wedding day to get divorced

There are numerous curious laws in different countries of the African continent. One of them exists in the Republic of Ghana, at the southeast of Africa, where divorce is permitted but on one condition. Ghanaians are allowed to divorce but as long as people attend to court dressed the same way when they were married.

You'll notice the text on the wall says "Salle de divorce, tous les coups sont permis" in French. Translated that means "Divorce hall, all punches are allowed".

That's a first hint the story is fake: the official language of Ghana is English.

A second hint is that the picture is digitally altered: the writing on the wall is not present on the original picture which has been making the rounds since at least 2009:

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Finally we looked up some resources on Ghana divorce law and we found no reference to this requirement:

Ghana: Grounds For Divorce In Ghana: - The Basics

The Matrimonial Causes Act, 1971 (Act 367) governs the current law on divorce in Ghana. The law provides that, a petition for divorce may be presented to the court by either party to a marriage. Ghana Family and Matrimonial Legalstone Solicitors LLP 8 Oct 2018

The site where the claim is currently going viral, There Is News, carries a "Legal Warging" (archived here) that reads:

Legal Warging

The site "There is news" (http://thereisnews.es) (hereinafter referred to as TIN) is a humor site whose purpose is entertainment.

The content of TIN is fiction and does not correspond to reality.

All references, names, brands or institutions that appear on the site are used as contextual elements, as in any novel or fiction account.

(Note that the site thereisnews.es doesn't exist, only the .com version is live)

The site is the English language version of the Spanish satire site Hay Noticia, which is owned by Spanish humor website/collective La Fabrica de la Comedia S.C.

We wrote about thereisnews.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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