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Právo: One-tenth of brides, grooms in ČR are foreigners

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Prague, June 22 (CTK) – One in ten brides or bridegrooms in the Czech Republic is a foreigner, daily Pravo writes today.

Out of 45,000-50,000 couples who annually enter into marriage in the country, one partner is a foreigner in some 5,000 couples.

Sociologist Martina Hronova says this is the consequence of “the world on the move.”

The number of foreigners living in the Czech Republic on the basis of a permanent residence permit has long been rising. At present, some 500,000 foreigners live in the country with a population of 10.5 million. The number of foreign tourists and visitors to the Czech Republic has been on the rise, too, Pravo writes.

Besides, hundreds of thousands of Czechs annually spend holiday abroad or they leave there to study or work and they might find their partners in a foreign country, Hronova said.

“The removal of a language barrier also plays a role. Young people command foreign languages to a much higher extent than the previous generations,” she added.

Czech women marry a foreigner more often than vice versa. Out of some 5,000 marriages with a foreigner, there are Czech brides in 3,000 cases. Czech women marry Slovaks most often, followed by German, British, U.S. and Italian partners, Pravo writes.

On the contrary, Czech men prefer Slavic types of women. Along with Czechs, they often marry Ukrainians, Russians and Poles, but also Vietnamese, Thai and Philippine women.

Pravo writes that economic factors along with the desire to live abroad may play a role in Czech women’s choice of a partner from Western Europe, while Czech men may admire the devotion and beauty of Slavic and Asian women.

“Women prefer educated foreigners from Western Europe since they are self-confident, they tolerate and support the women’ ambitions and gender equality is not an abusive term for them, but a common life style. They are able to look after children if need be and do not consider this a weakness or the lack of masculinity,” Hronova said.

However, a number of Czech women enter into marriage with a foreigner after an exotic holiday and passionate nights at the sea and with romantic ideas about their life in a palace surrounded by palms. However, reality is often totally different, Pravo indicates.

A marriage with a foreigner is also connected with risks especially if concluded after a short, though very intensive relationship with a partner from a country with different traditions, religion and lifestyle and above all different legislation and understanding of matrimony, the rights of wife and husband and child upbringing than in the Czech Republic, Pravo points out.

Lawyers recommend to sign a marital contract beforehand that would prevent possible future lengthy disputes about children and property if the marriage ends up in divorce.

Moreover, before the marriage, people should know their partners’ habits, lifestyle and principles, which is even more important if they come from another country, and get acquainted with their family background to minimise future conflicts and misunderstanding that might lead to tragedies.

They should also agree where they will live as a married couple and how they will bring up their children. Besides, they must pay attention to under what laws their marriage will be concluded. In many countries, it is then complicated as well as time-consuming and costly to claim one’s rights or even to preserve personal freedom (for women), Pravo says.

Lawyers also warn of the risk of fictitious or expedient marriages. A marriage against payment is qualified as a crime of assisting in illegal stay, the police say.

A number of foreigners may want to get married only to get to Europe and have a better life. Others may expect their wives to work and support them.

“When I wanted my husband, whom I met in Africa, to start working at last after the necessary acclimatisation, he beat me up and demanded that I buy him a car, a luxurious one, of course. After he understood that he would not get any, he disappeared elsewhere in Europe. He naturally does not pay maintenance for his children,” Jitka, 30, who is still formally married to him, told Pravo.

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