Family law

With many years of practice, our office has abundant experience in family law. We are prepared for the fundamental changes brought about by the family law reform (in effect since 15 April 2018), and have the expertise in international private law, particularly European, for international couples.

Every spouse can request a divorce, if a marriage becomes untenable for any reason. In this case, the divorce procedure starts on the basis of a lawsuit. In cases where both spouses want a divorce and agree on it, a proposal needs to be prepared. In case of underage children, it is necessary, in both situations, to determine which of the parents gets custody, as well as visitation rights of the other parent and the amount of child maintenance. The family law reform also considers the possibility of joint custody when parents are separated, even though the parents might not agree to it. If, after the court decision, circumstances of the maintenance debtor and/or maintenance creditor change significantly, a lawsuit can be filed to request a decrease or increase of child maintenance, while also changing the initially defined method of visitations. Custody of the child can also be given to the other parent, particularly in cases when the child, under the care of the parent with custody, is later threatened in terms of their interest, or when the parent prevents visitations of the other parent, and visitations can not be carried out even with professional support of the Social Work Centre.

Regardless of the divorce, the rights arising from the sharing of acquired matrimonial property are discussed. When entering into a marriage or starting a civil partnership, an important shift occurs: everything created with joint work during the time of a marriage or civil partnership, which is equal to a marriage under certain conditions, becomes matrimonial property. The property owned by a spouse when entering into a marriage remains their own; gifts or inheritances also represent a special property. The matrimonial property is divided if the marriage is terminated or annulled. It can also be divided during marriage by an agreement or per request of either spouse. For this purpose, the spouses conclude agreements; since the family law reform, they can also conclude a marriage contract to define their rights arising from the sharing of acquired matrimonial property in other ways, differing from the statutory manner. The matrimonial property can also be divided per request of a creditor that enforces a claim against one of the spouses. After determining their shares of matrimonial property, the property is divided in a non-contentious procedure according to the rules governing the division of joint property.

If the spouses fails to come to an agreement on the scope of matrimonial property and their shares, a civil litigation begins to determine their matrimonial property and shares. The law presupposes that the spouses’ shares of matrimonial property are equal (50% each), which can be contested. Every spouse can argue that they contributed more, resulting in a higher share of the matrimonial property. Other persons can be included in such disputes as parties, most often when real property is registered in their name (e.g. spouse’s parents).

It is recommended that a client brings the following documentation when making the first visit to a lawyer:

  • extract from the registry of marriages,
  • children’s birth certificates,
  • any potential school certificates, if they are of age (e.g. for seeking changes of child mainte-nance, etc.),
  • records of the Social Work Centre, if a party had attended a meeting at the centre,
  • copies of receipts for children’s expenses,
  • copies of money order forms for kindergarten, school lunches, etc.
  • Social Work Centre certificates on the amount of child benefits,
  • copies of payslips for the last three months, etc.