No, they shouldn't exist as our priest puts it "the Church blesses marriages, not divorces"
Certainly true. The Church never "blesses" divorce, but Her Bishops
have, since at least the fourth century, offered official pastoral care to Her members whose marriages have unfortunately dissolved. As in all such canonical matters, the main thing to be decided is the individual's future incorporation into the sacramental life of the Church (or, as necessary, temporary exclusion for reasons of repentance). For many centuries (possibly the vast majority, depending on how you read Justinian's Novels
) that pastoral care has involved the official ecclesiastical recognition
that a marriage has dissolved (not an official "blessing" of that dissolution); and, more importantly, an official pastoral recommendation for how best to proceed as an Orthodox Christian, fully intent on living within the sacramental life of the Church. The "blessing," if there is one, is to proceed in the reception of the Eucharist, to proceed to stand as a godparent, etc.
(hence why all the other jurisdictions deal with the issue only when necessary, i.e. a new marriage)
What about when one wants to be a godparent or sponsor a marriage? Also, I would be curious to hear more about the practice in Romania, Serbia, or Russia. Based on what I've read in manuals of canon law from Serbia and Russia, they don't share the understanding or practice that you articulated. I hope others will chime in who are more familiar with the sources or the current reality than I.
Somehow, I feel like we've had this conversation before. This time, I really do hope people from other Orthodox countries actually offer their experience.
, and the senseless mutliplication of grief over an already grief filled situation.
This is an important point. When done right, the process (like all matters of canonical/pastoral care) should be an opportunity for healing and reincorporation into the Church. However, in situations with such volatile and real emotions and realities, it is very, very difficult. But that's pastoral care for you! Hence, why, in practice, I think most people in all churches (including Greece or Romania), especially if the civil divorce was nasty, wait a good while before addressing the matter. And, often, yes, that means waiting until it is absolutely necessary (e.g. another marriage or wanting to be a godparent), but that doesn't mean such a practice conforms to canonical standards -- it's just pastoral reality.