ASK AN EXPERT: Can I get a divorce in Czechia if I was married abroad?

We asked the legal experts at MELKUS KEJLA & PARTNERS to weigh in on how to get a divorce in Czechia when you got married in a different country. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 31.07.2023 15:00:00 (updated on 31.07.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

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Foreigners may encounter difficulties on the way to a successful divorce, especially when multiple jurisdictions are involved. When it comes to the recognition of marriage or divorce abroad, however, the Czech law is clear. We asked Jiří Melkus of MELKUS KEJLA & PARTNERS to provide some answers regarding the legalities of petitioning for a divorce in Czechia when the marriage took place in another country.

Mr. Melkus told us that, in some cases, you might not even need to consider the question and that it all depends on whether or not you have notified the Czech authorities of the marriage.

If you have not notified the Czech authorities, then the Czech authorities have not recognized you as married according to the Czech law, and therefore no divorce is necessary. However, if you have notified the Czech authorities of the marriage in your visa application, it can be a bit more complicated,” says Mr. Melkus.

Divorcing in Czechia

If the spouses involved are getting divorced in the Czech Republic (before Czech courts), at least one of the following conditions must be met:

  • The spouses habitually reside in the Czech Republic
  • The spouses' last habitual residence was in the Czech Republic, insofar as one of them still resides there
  • The respondent (the spouse not filing for divorce) habitually resides in the Czech Republic
  • In the event of a joint application, one of the spouses habitually resides in the Czech Republic
  • The applicant habitually resides in the Czech Republic and he or she has resided there for at least a year immediately before the application was made (6 months is sufficient in the case of a Czech citizen)

Divorcing abroad and recognizing the divorce in Czechia

If you happen to have divorced abroad, there are three distinct ways to recognize divorce in the Czech Republic.

  • If you have divorced in another EU country (except Denmark), the process is simple as you only need a Czech translation for the decision to be recognized.
  • If you have divorced outside the EU (or in Denmark), recognition may be governed by a bilateral treaty or the Hague Convention on the Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations, but you need to check whether recognition is automatic or whether the decision needs to be confirmed.
  • If the country where you got divorced does not fall into any of the categories listed above, the process will be regulated by the Private International Law Act. This means that you would have to file an application with the Supreme Court, which would then issue a decision recognizing the foreign divorce decree.

In case you need further assistance, contact a licensed legal professional, such as Mr. Melkus from MELKUS KEJLA & PARTNERS, who can provide you with a tailored solution and guide you through the whole process.

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