Matrimonial and parental judgments: jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement in the Czech Republic

The attorney office ONDREJOVA deals with the cases where it is not straightforward for the client to determine the appropriate court for their case in respect of divorce, custody, child support, spousal support – alimony and community property division.

The example might be spouses – Czech wife – British husband who got married in Austria and lived in France or US. Where is jurisdiction for their divorce? When can you file the divorce petition at the Czech courts in respect of divorce and custody (visiting rights) of the minor children? How and according what law will the community property be divided? What law is the most helpful in respect of spousal support? How does the procedure and court works in the Czech Republic? What about two foreigners living in the Czech Republic together and would like to divorce?

There are legal rules for answer all these questions, either in EU regulations, international agreements and Czech act on private international law. It is necessary to have a complex evaluation and fact findings of personal and financial life of my client to evaluate and choose the right jurisdiction. I will explain the key differences between the law systems and how it works and costs in the  Czech Republic. Ask for a preliminary consultation – www.ondrejova.cz

A few rules from the Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003: The jurisdiction rules in Article 3 determine in which Member State the courts are competent but not the court which is competent within that Member State. This question is left to the domestic law of each Member State as to which court is competent in matrimonial matters.

The grounds of jurisdiction in matrimonial matters are alternative, implying that there is no hierarchy, and so no order of precedence, between them.

Divorce, legal separation and marriage annulment

Article 3

General jurisdiction

  1. In matters relating to divorce, legal separation or marriage annulment, jurisdiction shall lie with the courts of the Member State

(a) in whose territory:

– the spouses are habitually resident, or

– the spouses were last habitually resident, insofar as one of them still resides there, or

– the respondent is habitually resident, or

– in the event of a joint application, either of the spouses is habitually resident, or

– the applicant is habitually resident if he or she resided there for at least a year immediately before the application was made, or

– the applicant is habitually resident if he or she resided there for at least six months immediately before the application was made and is either a national of the Member State in question or, in the case of the United Kingdom and Ireland, has his or her “domicile” there;

(b) of the nationality of both spouses or, in the case of the United Kingdom and Ireland, of the “domicile” of both spouses.

Applicable law is dealt by the Czech Act on private international rules (act. no 91/12 Coll.) and COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) No 1259/2010 of 20 December on implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation.

How to legalize foreign divorce in the Czech Republic

How is the foreign divorce valid in the Czech Republic? If the divorce took place in the following states, all you need is to produce proof of the divorce with an official timestamp confirming when the divorce took effect, it needs to be officially translated in the Czech language and then it will be automatically valid in the Czech Republic without applying for any recognition by the Czech Supreme Court:

Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Hungary, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom .

In respect of other states you have to apply to the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic to validate it. You have to file it yourself or via an attorney office, not via embassy. Necessary parts are: name, surname, date of birth, information about Czech citizenship, information about marriage – date, place, information about divorce – date, what court, reasons for divorce, what you require and you have to enclose the judgment with a stamp it is enforceable or superlegalized and officially translated in the Czech language. Power of attorney, copy of marriage certificate and certificate of citizenship

To find out more what you need for this application, fees, power of attorney and other necessary information what to do in the Czech Republic to notify the appropriate state bodies, contact www.ondrejova.cz


How to register foreign marriage or birth of the child in the Czech Republic

All vital events of Czech citizens are registered by the office of “Zvláštní matrika” in the city Brno. Foreign marriage certificates must be submitted, legalized and translated.