Spouses are equal in their marital rights and responsibilities. According to Slovak legal order they are obliged to live together, to be faithful, to respect each other’s dignity, to help each other, to take care of the children together and to create a healthy family environment. However, it does not always turn out well in life and it comes to a divorce – the official termination of the marriage.
According to Slovak law, the marriage can only be divorced in justified cases. The conditions are regulated by Act no. 36/2005 Coll. – Family Act (hereinafter referred to as “Slovak Family Act”).
In Slovakia, the court may divorce a marriage only at the request of one of the spouses and only if the relationship between the spouses is so seriously disturbed and permanently broken that the marriage cannot fulfill its purpose and the spouses cannot be expected to resume marital cohabitation. The court obligatory identifies the causes that led to the serious breakdown of the relationship between the spouses and takes them into account when deciding on divorce.
The fee for a petition for divorce is 66 €. In some cases, participants may be exempt from fees.
Divorce of parents
During a divorce, the family finds itself in a difficult and often mentally demanding situation. The situation is especially specific when divorcing spouses with minor children, when it is especially important to take into account the children and to address issues related to their care in the proceedings.
The divorce of the parents of the minor children is obligatorily connected with the proceedings on the regulation of the exercise of parental rights and obligations to the minor children for the time after the divorce.
The parents of a minor can enter into a parental agreement regarding the care of their common child.
According to the Slovak Family Act, parental rights and obligations are mainly the following:
a) continuous and consistent care for the upbringing, health, nutrition and development of a minor child,
b) representation of a minor child,
c) the administration of the minor’s property.
The parental agreement can be concluded for the time after divorce or even for the duration of the divorce, especially if the divorce proceedings are expected to take a long time. At the same time, they can conclude an agreement in such a wording that, according to the will of the spouses, it also applies after the divorce, which will then be approved directly by the divorce court in the divorce judgment.
If the parents have concluded a parental agreement, the court proceedings can be speeded up, as the court does not have to examine the circumstances so profoundly.
Court decisions about the minor
If the parents do not conclude any parental agreement during the divorce proceedings, the court will obligatorily decide on the minor. In the decision divorcing the minor’s parents, the court shall regulate the exercise of their parental rights and obligations for the period after the divorce. In particular, the court decides to whom the minor to entrusts to the personal care, who will represent him and manage his property. At the same time, it shall be determined how the non-custodial parent is to contribute to his or her maintenance or approve the parents’ agreement on the amount of maintenance.
The divorce judgment contains at least 3 mandatory statements of the decision concerning the minor child:
• Decision on entrusting the child to care – custody
• Decision on representing the minor, usually together with the decision on managing the minor’s property
• Decision on child support – maintenance
Forms of care of children
According to the Slovak Family Act, parental rights and obligations (child custody) towards a minor child can be adjusted in three ways:
– EXCLUSIVE personal care of one parent
– ALTERNATE personal care
– JOINT personal care
The minor´s interest
When deciding on the exercise of parental rights and obligations or approving the parental agreement, the court respects the minor’s right to maintain his or her relationship with both parents and always takes into account the minor’s interests, especially his or her emotional ties, developmental needs, stability of future parenting agree on the upbringing and care of the child with the other parent. The court ensures that the child’s right to upbringing and care is respected by both parents and that the child’s right to maintain regular, equal and equal personal contact with both parents is respected.
The best interests of the minor child are paramount in court deciding on all matters concerning the child. That is, in deciding which of the parents will be awarded the custody, as well as whether he or she will determine the alternating care or sole custody of one of the parents.
In determining and assessing the best interests of the minor, the following aspects shall be taken into account according to Slovak legal order:
– the level of a childcare,
– the safety of the child as well as the safety and stability of the environment in which the child resides,
– the protection of the child’s dignity and mental, physical and emotional development,
– circumstances relating to the child’s state of health or disability,
– endangering the child’s development by interfering with his or her dignity and endangering the child’s development by interfering with the mental, physical and emotional integrity of a person who is close to the child,
– the conditions for preserving the child’s identity and for developing the child’s abilities and characteristics,
– the child’s views and their possible exposure to a conflict of loyalty and consequent guilt,
– conditions for establishing and developing relationships with both parents, siblings and other close persons, and others.