Divorce Lawyers in Poland
Divorce in PolandUpdated on Monday 21st November 2022
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Our divorce lawyers in Poland can help individuals who wish to dissolve a marriage. We can help not only with the divorce proceedings in court but also with assistance for the division of property.
Grounds for divorce in Poland
Complete and irretrievable marriage breakdown
|Minimum separation period before applying for divorce||Not required|
|The application for divorce is filed with the regional court in Poland, according to the area of residence|
|Separation agreement recognized in Poland (Yes/No)|| |
|The party at fault||Both spouses, one of the spouses fully at fault or no-fault divorce (joint request)|
|The treatment of property after divorce in Poland|| |
Only joint ownership property is divided as a result of divorce
|Joint home/apartment treatment after divorce||The court divorce decree stipulates how joint accommodation will be used|
|Child custody after divorce in Poland||Joint custody and shared parental responsibility in most cases|
|Child maintenance after divorce||Both parents are required to provide maintenance (financial support, as well as care)|
|Minimum child alimony||No prescribed minimum|
|Maintenance payments for the other spouse||Possible if one of the parties is found completely at fault for the divorce or in case one of the parties has very limited financial means (in case of a joint divorce)|
|Maintenance amounts for the other spouse|| |
To be determined by the court in Poland
|Costs commonly required for divorce|| These include the court fee for filing the divorce petition, any costs for translating documents, as well as optional costs for mediation and legal |
representation in Poland
|Mandatory legal representation for divorce||Not mandatory, however highly advisable|
|Legal assistance for divorce in Poland||Our lawyers in Poland represent clients, helping represent their best interests in a divorce case|
The divorce law in Poland
The divorce procedure in Poland
The court that will handle the case, or the competent court, is the district one where the spouses had their last home together. In the absence of the base, only the courts in the place of residence of the defendant or the court in the place of residence of the plaintiff can judge the divorce case.
The reason for the divorce in Poland is a spouse who wants a divorce, called the plaintiff, and the other spouse, the defendant.
In the case of divorce, a court hearing is necessary and it will take place behind closed doors. Only the parties, their representatives, and the witnesses participate in this meeting. During the hearing, both parties are requested to present their case and this process is mandatory. They will explain whether there has been a breakdown of the marriage and which is the situation of the minor children.
When or if the court decides that the marriage is salvable, the judge may refer the parties to mediation. This alternative dispute resolution method aims to solve the issues and conflicts between the parties in a manner in which the separation or the divorce can be avoided altogether. If this is not possible, then the mediator will try to solve the terms relating to childcare and property ownership as amicably as possible. One of our divorce lawyers in Poland can give you more options about the alternative non-judicial means of ending a marriage. We can also help you with negotiation proceedings when necessary.
The treatment of minor children and alimony after a divorce
Property separation after the divorce
In practice, this means that each spouse owns and manages his/her assets completely autonomously, independently of the actions taken by the other individual. This does not mean, however, that spouses are deprived of the possibility of joint acquisition of rights and the joint obligations that arise (for example joint conclusion of the credit agreement, the purchase of an asset).
According to Polish law, there are three main types of separation of property, namely: separate property by agreement, division of marital property under a court ruling and separate property of equalization accomplishments. In almost all divorce cases, the division of property is performed for the joint property: in this case, both spouses have equal shares in the commonly acquired assets and real estate. One or both spouses may request a special court division of property. This means that the court will decide how the assets will be distributed according to the contribution percentage of each of the former husband and wife. The court divorce degree can also establish the manner in which the two individuals will resolve any accommodation issues when they share the same home.
If one of the spouses is in financial difficulty, and if he/she is not the party found at fault for the breakdown of the marriage, a maintenance claim can be submitted. This is established based on reasonable needs and on the income of the other spouse. When, after a divorce decree, the financial situation of one of the spouses (the one who is not responsible for the divorce) is sees as severely damaged, then the other party may be required to provide for the needs of the other. All maintenance obligations case when the spouse who receives them is remarried. When the maintenance payment falls onto one of the spouses but he/she was not solely at fault for the marriage breakdown, then this responsibility ceases five years after the divorce date.
Another legal consequence of divorce is that the spouse who changed his/her surname will revert to the one before this event. This is done by submitting a declaration to the registry office and within three months after the divorce is final.
Separation and marriage annulment in Poland
The divorce procedure is not conditioned upon an earlier separation. One of our divorce lawyers in Poland can give you more information about separation and divorce and can help you with legal counseling if you are considering one of these.
Marriage annulment is a distinct manner in which the effects of marriage are canceled with a retroactive effect. The only exception is the status of the children born from that marriage. The conditions in which marriage annulment applies are the following:
- failure to observe the marriage age: the union is annulled when a spouse if below the legal marriage age (and the ceremony took place despite the fact that the required documents were presented at the time).
- the spouse is incapacitated: this refers to the situation in which a spouse is fully legally incapacitated, is mentally ill or has an intellectual disability.
- unconscious agreement: if at the time of the marriage one of the parties was unable to consciously express his or her will or was under an unlawful threat, irrespective of the reasons.
- the spouses are related: this refers to lineal consanguinity, collateral consanguinity or when they are related by adoption.
When the marriage is annulled because the union took place in bad faith, then the spouse who entered the marriage in bad faith will be the one liable for the breakdown of the marriage. The annulment is generally retroactive and its effects go back to the date of the marriage, however, in some cases the consequences of annulment arise only after the cancellation of the marriage is final (this applies to property in general).
Child custody after divorce in Poland
- leave the child/children with both parents (meaning that both former spouses retain parental authority);
- allow parental authority to only one of the parent, as well as limiting the parental duties of the second to only specific issued (such as participating in important decisions concerning the education of the child or the religious upbringing).
Divorce statistics in Poland
- more than 51,000 married couples divorced in Poland in 2020; more than 14,000 compared to 2019;
- 700 marriages were issued separation during 2020, less than those in 2019.
- the number of divorces was 3 times larger in urban areas; the number of separations in the first half of 2020 was twice as high in urban areas, compared to rural ones in the country;
- the divorce rate in 2020 was 1.3 ‰.