I want a divorce. Where do I start?

If you have minor children born in the marriage, the first step involves arrangements regarding their care: custody, visitation for the non-custodial parent, and child support. Only after the court rules on these matters can it begin addressing the divorce petition itself. If you do not have minor children born in the marriage, you can file the divorce petition at any time. Settlement (division) of joint marital property is not a prerequisite for divorce.

Is it better to file the divorce petition myself or wait for my husband/wife to file it?

In divorce petitions it does not make much difference which spouse files first, but it is always good to be first so you have an advantage in argumentation. This may also play a role in proving the breakdown of the marriage where one spouse does not agree to the divorce.

What divorce documentation will I need in court?

In the court proceedings to dissolve your marriage you will need the original marriage certificate.

What if my husband/wife is forcing me into a divorce that I do not want?

If one spouse does not agree to the divorce, the court always reviews the causes of the breakdown in the marriage and gathers evidence reviewing the depth and permanence of the breakdown and takes into account various accompanying circumstances. If you do not agree to the divorce, tell the court as much and give your reasons. In any case the court's divorce ruling is subject to appeal.

Is it better to have an attorney with me in court, or can I handle it myself?

You are not legally required to have an attorney, but if you are not certain what you can ask for during the proceedings or how to get it, we certainly recommend using an attorney. In addition to actual legal advice, the simple fact of having an attorney will improve your position in court.

How much will the divorce cost me?

The court fee is set at CZK 2,000, and then you will have costs for legal representation depending on how long and complicated the case becomes.

Do I need to have my property settled before the divorce?

No, you do not need to have joint marital property settled before the divorce or even afterwards. A legal presumption of settlement enters into force three years after the divorce, so that for instance the car you have in your possession at that moment is yours.

Can I get a divorce without a decision on the children?

No, that is not possible. A legally enforceable court ruling on child custody arrangements is required before your divorce can be finalized. That said, however, you can file a divorce petition whenever you like and the court will suspend the divorce proceedings until the custody arrangements have been made.