Divorce in Poland – it does not have to be a nightmare.
In the Polish legal system, we distinguish between divorce and judicial separation. Both are subject of court’ sentence based on Family and Custody Code (Kodeks Rodzinno Opiekuńczy, KRO). But they differ significantly from each other. Among the most important differences we should mention following:
The right to re-marry
The most important difference is that after obtaining the divorce both parties are allowed to re-marry as the previous marriage has been terminated. The separation does not terminate the marriage what means that both parties remain legally married. Also, judicial separation can be revoked any time.
After the divorce is granted, one can resume the name he/she used before getting married (for example maiden name). The declaration has to be made before Civil Registry officer (Urząd Stanu Cywilnego) within a 3-months period after the divorce judgment. Upon this declaration, one receives a certificate issued by the Civil Registry Office. Once you submit your application to re-issue of your ID card, passport or DL this certificate must be attached to your application.
Cost and duration of proceeding
The court fees for the consensual legal separation amount to 100 PLN whereas those of divorce to 600 PLN. Then they are attorney fees you may need to pay. Typical flat rate for divorce case in Wroclaw is 3.000 – 6.000 PLN depending on it how complicate the case may be. This is for cases when court has to decide on which side the culpability for breakdown of marriage was.
Both divorce and separation may be adjudicated after the first hearing. This is assuming that the spouses do not have joint minor children , their petition for divorce or separation was consensual and that the court does not have to decide whose responsibility is was that the marriage broke down.
Also, it is easier to obtain the separation as parties do not need to prove the irretrievable breakdown of marriage. Once you want to be granted divorce you must demonstrate that the marriage no longer exists on a permanent basis.
Duration of alimony payment
Alimony is a monthly payment made by one party to another one based on court decision. In case of divorce the eventual obligation to pay alimony to previous spouse is usually limited to the period of 5 years. In case of separation there is no such limitation.
Among the most important similarities between divorce and separation are: separation of property, distribution of wealth, lack of presumption of paternity of the child, exclusion of inheritance (except that based on a testament).
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require legal advice in your divorce or separation case in Poland.
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