How to file for divorce

If you are facing the daunting task of divorce, we have a practical article on how to file for divorce. You’ll learn where to actually file for divorce, what to put in the petition, how long it will take and how much it will cost you.

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5 minutes of reading

Chapters of the article

First step: take legal action

Marriage is celebrated in front of the registrars or in a church. If you want to divorce, you will have to go to court. So, as a first step, you must file a petition for divorce with the court. The petition is usually filed in the district court where you last lived together (if at least one of you still lives in that district). The petition can be filed by either spouse, or if both spouses agree, they can file jointly (depending on which court the petition is filed in). A collection of CZK 2,000 must be affixed to the petition, or such amount must be paid to the court as a court fee.

What is written in the divorce petition?

And what to write in such a petition? Divorce is a court proceeding and it has its own strict rules. In the petition, you need to indicate which persons are involved (i.e. your name, date of birth, address and the same for your spouse), which court is involved (name and address) and which proceedings – the dissolution of marriage. After you have filled in the “header”, it is time for the text itself. This is where you usually state when you and your spouse got married, how many years you have been married, whether any children were born during the marriage and whether they are now adults. It is also advisable to state where you last lived together so that the judge can verify that the proceedings actually belong to him.

Divorce

We will walk you through the whole process step-by-step from filing to court approval. Will will also ensure the best possible settlement for you, your children and your property. We proceed quickly, discretely and with experience. You may also pay after services are provided.

Furthermore, the wording of the petition varies depending on whether you agree on the divorce – it is enough to state quite briefly that you no longer understand each other and want a divorce. The Civil Code literally says: “A marriage may be dissolved if the cohabitation of the spouses is deeply, permanently and irretrievably broken down and cannot be expected to be restored.” If you and your spouse agree on this, all you have to do is repeat it in court. If you know in advance that the other spouse disagrees with the divorce, you need to describe your arguments in more detail and propose evidence – for example, witness statements, documents, photographs… Finally, be sure to date and sign the petition and attach copies of important documents such as the marriage certificate or property settlement agreement.

How the whole process works

After you send the petition to the court and pay the court fee, the court will usually invite you to a hearing within a few weeks or months. If both spouses agree, this hearing is quite formal and can take up to 15 minutes. The judge should hear both spouses briefly. If one spouse does not want a divorce, the hearing will be longer. The court may take more evidence and this may take more hearings. However, the whole procedure usually does not take more than a year.

Divorce with children

If you have at least one minor child at the time of the divorce (i.e. a child who is under 18), you must expect a children’s court before the court will divorce you. A separate proceeding will determine who will be given custody of the child and who will pay child support and how much. Only after the children’s judgment has become final can the divorce take place. In the case of a so-called uncontested divorce, an agreement between the parents on the arrangement of the minor child’s circumstances must be obtained.

Contested and uncontested divorce

Before you embark on the whole process, it’s good to know what your options are. If you and your spouse are able to agree on child custody and property settlement and you meet the other conditions (you have been married for at least 1 year and have been separated for 6 months), we recommend an uncontested divorce. The proceedings will be quicker and easier and the biggest advantage is that you will have your property settled. Because if you don’t agree on the property beforehand, you won’t have a community property settlement after the divorce and you will have to resolve this by separate agreement or even in another court proceeding.

Tip: Dealing with a surname change after divorce? Learn how to do it.

How much is the divorce gonna cost me?

At least CZK 2,000 in court fees. The maximum limit can go into tens of thousands. It will depend on whether you will pay for lawyers, whether the divorce will drag on and whether there will be additional costs, for example, for expert reports, or even travel costs if you have to travel to court. However, it is good to know what is worth saving on and what is not. It is highly recommended that you take advice from a lawyer at least in the first stage, or that you draft the petition yourself, because a wrongly drafted petition (or one sent to the wrong court) will usually delay the proceedings and therefore make them more expensive.

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Divorce

We will walk you through the whole process step-by-step from filing to court approval. Will will also ensure the best possible settlement for you, your children and your property. We proceed quickly, discretely and with experience. You may also pay after services are provided.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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