Divorce laws in the Czech Republic are similar to those in other continental European countries. There is a ‘no-fault’ option when you both agree on the divorce and associated matters, although courts can make orders regarding children and property if required. So how does divorce work in regards to the Czech Republic? How are child custody, contact and support dealt with? And how is property divided when you split up? Here we provide a guide to divorce in the Czech Republic.
Divorce laws in the Czech Republic
There are two main types of divorce in the Czech Republic: by mutual consent and through a court.
Divorce by mutual consent
This is a ‘no-fault’ divorce option. You and your spouse can apply for a divorce by mutual consent if you satisfy the following four conditions:
- you have been married for at least a year
- you have lived apart for more than 6 months
- you agree to the divorce and to file the petition together (or one of you agreed to co-sign the petition of the spouse who initiated the divorce)
- you have come to an agreement on child custody/contact and the division of your property.
Here, a court is not interested in which party was responsible for the breakdown of your marriage.
If you can’t agree on child arrangements or the division of your assets, or one spouse doesn’t consent to the divorce, then there will have to be a court hearing.
If the spouse who was not mainly responsible for your marriage breakdown disagrees with the divorce, the court can reject the petition in exceptional circumstances if they believe that party would be seriously harmed by the divorce. A court can also refuse to grant a divorce if they believe it is not in the best interests of your children.
However, if you have been living apart for three years or more than the court will grant the divorce.
Child custody, support and contact arrangements following divorce in the Czech Republic
If you can come to an agreement regarding custody and contact for your child then this can be approved as part of the divorce process. If you can’t agree then the court may have to make an order.
Joint custody is the default regime in the Czech Republic. If you and the other parent both want to bring up your child, then joint custody puts your child into the alternating custody of both parents. A court can award this if it feels it is in your child’s best interests.
A court can also assign custody to one parent and award contact rights to the other parent.
In terms of child support, the courts use the table below as a guide. Support is generally payable to the age of 15 unless your child enters higher education. This table is only used as a guide and a parent can be ordered to pay a higher amount if the court decides.
- Child is 0 to 5 years old: 11 – 15% of net salary
- Child is 6 to 9 years old: 13 – 17% of net salary
- Child is 10 to 14 years old: 15 – 19% of net salary
- Child is 15 to 17 years old: 16 – 22% of net salary
- Child is 18 years old or more: 19 – 25% of net salary.
The Czech Republic is a signatory to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction and is party to the Brussels IIa regulations. This means that if your child is taken out of the Czech Republic without your consent, you can approach the relevant authorities to ensure their speedy return.
Similarly, if your child is taken to the Czech Republic from another EU or Convention country, you can also access formal help to ensure your child is returned to their ‘home’ country.
How are assets split on divorce in the Czech Republic?
If you can come to an agreement on the division of property when your marriage ends, this can be approved by the court. If you don’t agree, a court may have to make an order.
The Czech Republic uses a default system of ‘community property’. Here, all the assets that either or both of you acquired during your marriage belong to ‘community property’. Exceptions typically include:
- property you use everyday
- property you acquired as a gift or inheritance
- property you acquired as compensation for non-material damage on your natural rights
- property you have acquired as compensation for the loss or damage of property under your sole ownership.
The court will start from the position that all ‘community property’ should be split equally between spouses. However, other factors will be taken into account when making a decision about the division of assets. These factors can include:
- the needs of your children
- how each of you cared for the family (including children and the family home)
- your contribution to the acquisition and maintenance of community property.
If your joint assets have not been divided within three years of the end of ‘joint property’ the division of assets will be carried out as follows:
- movable assets are owned by the spouse who uses them as an owner exclusively for the needs of themselves, family or household
- other assets are co-owned by both spouses in equal shares.
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