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Getting Divorced in Czech Republic Will Be Much Easier

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Divorce courts will no longer inquire into the cause of the breakdown of the marriage and will no longer check whether the six-month separation period has been observed. These duties of the courts have become obsolete. If both parties agree to the divorce, the courts should also do away with the compulsory questioning of the spouses and the presence of their legal representatives will be sufficient. This intention was supported by the Czech Bar Association.

“The family is evolving, the forms of cohabitation are changing. But the legislation is still based on the traditions of the 70s”, – said the author of the project, MP Ewa Decroix. She characterized the working draft, which the ministry will discuss with the presidents of parliamentary clubs before sending it out for comment, as a major amendment to divorce legislation. The changes would come into force from the beginning of 2025.

The proposal is based on the Peter Fiala government’s (ODS) policy statement, which pledged to promote “consensual parental conflict resolution”. Existing uncontested divorces will be referred to as “amicable” divorces.

According to the MP, the divorce process should be cheaper, faster and more comfortable. Faster – because it will combine divorce and custody proceedings into one proceeding. Cheaper – at the expense of a single court fee. And more comfortable – because courts will be able to hear divorce cases in a location other than a courtroom, such as a judge’s office.

Decroix said the court’s current duty to determine the reasons for the breakup of a marriage is outdated and unnecessary in practice. “Reasonable judges today no longer determine it. Nor does it affect the judgment as such. Often there are awkward situations when we find out when a person last quarreled and because of what,” she said.

Abolition of mandatory questioning of spouses

The amendment also abolishes mandatory questioning of spouses in divorce. “If the spouses have come to an agreement and written documents show their desire to divorce, there is no need to appear in person in court,” the author of the amendment said. However, the court will still be able to summon the spouses if it deems it necessary to question them.

When divorcing a couple with children, it should also not always be necessary to appoint a guardian. Decroix believes that in cases where there is no risk of a conflict of interest between the parents, it should not be necessary. The court will now only appoint a guardian if it believes that the parents are not respecting the interests of their children.

The amendment to the Civil Code aims to make divorce by agreement less traumatic. The MEP refers to the results of surveys, according to which divorce is the second most traumatic event after the death of a loved one.



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