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Who Pays the Divorce Expenses?

Divorce costs are often taken for granted. But are you familiar with the factors determining the price in your case? And who bears the extra expenses?

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How to divorce cheaply? Reach an agreement quickly

With the maelstrom of emotions, this may sound completely unattainable; however, if you manage to calm down but for a while and come to an agreement regarding child care and property settlement, possibly via a mediator, you will save a considerable sum. What’ more, if you were prudent enough to sign a prenuptial agreement before the wedding, which is far from romantic but does have its merits, the divorce will be even faster and cheaper, as the agreement clearly states what belongs to whom.

What are the expenses of an uncontested divorce?

The court fee for both contested and uncontested divorces is 2,000 CZK, paid by the spouse filing the divorce petition.

If you want to stay on the safe side and have the documents required for a divorce examined, add the divorce solicitor’s fees to the court fee for an uncontested divorce.

What are the costs if you can’t reach an agreement?

Additional costs may arise during the divorce process, e.g., expert opinions, barrister’s fees, or travel expenses if you need to get to a court outside of your town.

The divorce suit itself needn’t take long, and therefore can be relatively cheap. Even if one of the spouses challenges the divorce and the court has to prove its necessity, the process takes months rather than years. However, if you have minor children under age 18, the court must appoint custody over them in a separate process, which may drag on for a long time.

Unless you agree on property division yourselves, the child care process and divorce suit will likely be followed by the property settlement process. Another court fee is paid; in addition, substantial costs may be needed for court-sworn experts, legal opinions and solicitors.

We guarantee that the divorce solicitor’s fees won’t be astronomical

We’ll guide you through the whole divorce process, from the negotiation with your spouse, through filing the divorce complaint, to the judgement, all for fixed prices. We manage to divorce most marriages within the second hearing.

How much is a contested divorce?

  • The court fee for filing the divorce complaint is 2,000 CZK.
  • The court fee for matrimonial property settlement (real estate excluded) ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 CZK. The fees change constantly, with the tendency to increase; it would be prudent to allow for some provision in your calculations.
  • Each real estate property divided or appointed costs 5,000 CZK.
  • If you can’t agree regarding the property price and turn to an appraiser, be prepared to pay thousands or tens of thousands. With real estate, each appraisal amounts to 2,500 – 10,000 CZK.
  • Solicitor’s fees rise further with each additional hearing, whether we’re talking about drafting extra motions, consultations or defending in the court.

Tip: To gain a deeper insight into what the divorce suit comprises, read our article from the practice of divorce barristers.

Who bears the divorce expenses?

As these processes don’t fall under the category of a typical legal dispute with one party winning and the other losing, don’t expect your ex-spouse to bear the costs of the divorce suit or the minor child care process. Hardly ever does the court order one of the ex-spouses to defray all the expenses of a divorce suit. Minor child care processes are currently exempt from court fees, so neither party need pay for them.

How are debts split in a divorce?

Besides all the extra fees, both spouses have their regular bills to pay. Typical examples include repaying loans or the mortgage they took. Keep in mind here that as long as you had marital property and didn’t reduce or eliminate it during your marriage, it terminates upon obtaining the divorce judgement. Even if you both have your own bank accounts to which your salaries are deposited and live in separate flats, you do have community property until you achieve the divorce. In other words, the money that you earned during the marriage is communal despite being in separate bank accounts.

You’re also obligated to continue repaying the eventual mortgage together, which often leads to problems. For instance, the husband moves out of the family house burdened with a mortgage and rents a smaller flat, while the wife and children stay in the house. The suit drags on, the divorce is far-off, so he decides to stop repaying the mortgage – why should he after all, when he doesn’t live there any longer. So the wife has to keep repaying the mortgage by herself. The problem is that the money in her account is a part of matrimonial property until she obtains the divorce. It will be difficult to arrive at a settlement when she repays the mortgage with communally owned money. However, in a marriage, both spouses should maintain equal material and cultural levels. Therefore, it’s unacceptable for only one of them to bear all the costs. And for this reason, if one of the couple refuses to share the expenses, the other may claim alimony for themselves and, eventually, for the children they support.

We have divorced, but I’m the one repaying the mortgage

Matrimonial property is eliminated upon divorce. From this point on, any money you earn belongs to your separate property. However, unless you’ve reached an agreement regarding the matrimonial property settlement during the divorce, you continue to share the assets and liabilities acquired during your marriage.

If you don’t come to an agreement at a later time, you may either take the matter to the court, or wait for 3 years, after which period, very simply put, your marital property turns into joint ownership. Until then, however, you both must repay your debts equally, that is, half and half. If you’ve already achieved the divorce and are continuing to repay the mortgage by yourself and with your separate money, you are entitled to a reimbursement from your ex-spouse. The same holds true when you invest money in the joint property – do remember to keep all the receipts, and, if the ex-spouse refuses to reimburse you, don’t hesitate to take the matter to the court.

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Author of the article

Mgr. Lucie Petránková

Lucie understands the legal profession like few others, and she defends the interests of her clients both inside and outside the courtroom. Lucie has won hundreds of disputes, and her role on our team is to ensure the smooth and effiecient transfer of real properties. She is also experienced in both civil law and family law.

  • Postgraduate studies Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Law, field: medical law,
  • Universita Pantheon d ´Assas Paris II,
  • Law, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Law

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