In what way can we divorce now?
Before describing the amendment itself, it is appropriate to very briefly introduce the difference between the two divorce options.
Uncontested divorce is a quick and efficient solution. At the same time, however, it requires a coordinated approach by both spouses and agreement on the division of property, post-divorce care of the children and, of course, the fact that they will be divorced. All of this written and signed in a joint agreement.
Contrastingly, a contested divorce is a more protracted solution, which is not so much arrived at by the spouses themselves, but primarily by a judge in the context of litigation. In this process, the causes of the breakdown, such as infidelity or other private matters, are determined, among other things.
Are you considering divorce?
We will guide you through the divorce process from negotiating with your spouse, through filing for divorce, to getting a judgment. We negotiate with due tact, but also with the necessary firmness in order to achieve the best possible outcome for you, your property and your children.
Tip: Divorce proceedings are a process that takes place in court and results in the dissolution of a marriage. In the words of the law, a marriage can only be dissolved if it is deeply, permanently and irretrievably broken and cannot be expected to be restored. We have discussed the divorce procedure in detail in our article.
What changes does the amendment bring?
Nothing will change in the basic principle of contested and uncontested divorce. However, an uncontested divorce would be referred to as an “amicable” divorce. In the case of uncontested divorce, however, the spouses would no longer have to be heard in court and the presence of their legal representatives would be sufficient. Although at first glance it may surprise some people that a person would be divorced in his or her absence, this is not unusual. The condition is that the couple have made all their wishes regarding the divorce and post-divorce arrangements clear in the agreement they have signed. Further presence in court is then usually just a formality in such a case. In contrast to the current situation, the presence of a conflict guardian (OSPOD officer) would not always be strictly necessary and would only be summoned by the judge if he/she considers that the parents are not acting in the best interests of their child.
The new guardianship proceedings would also not precede the divorce proceedings themselves, but would be merged into one, for which only one court fee would also be paid.
The amendment also includes the abolition of the obligation for the court to determine the causes of the breakdown of the marriage. In this way, the state wants to limit its interference in the private lives of citizens.
Other proposals no longer directly affect divorce proceedings, but are closely related to them. On the one hand, the law calls for an increase in interest on arrears for non-payment of maintenance and, on the other hand, limits the penalty of imprisonment in the same case. The penalty should continue to apply only to the most serious situations of non-payment of maintenance.
Tip: You’ve won a court battle, you’ve gotten a divorce, you have custody of your child, and you have a judgment in hand setting a decent child support award for your offspring. But the child support is not coming in, or is coming in only occasionally and not in the amount specified. What do you do about it? Find out in our article.
The law also wants to emphasize the education of children by means other than corporal punishment. However, it does not introduce any sanctions for parents in this regard.
According to the drafters of the amendment, facilitating divorce may paradoxically increase not the divorce rate itself, but the number of marriages in the first place, as young people will not be deterred by the legal complexity of the whole union. The changes should be effective from the beginning of 2025.