If both spouses are Polish nationals, their divorce proceedings are conducted in a Polish court. In any other way one deals with an international divorce and naturally it makes the matter more complex.
Divorcing EU citizens
The EU provides a clear regulation regarding divorce cases between two citizens of the Union member countries. One of the most burning issue in international couples split-ups is deciding on a country where the proceedings are taken. For EU nationals, the country where the court case is handled is usually:
- The country where both of the spouses live;
- The country where the spouses used to live together before the separation and one of them still resides there;
- The country where the respondent lives;
- The country where the plaintiff lives (provided they have lived there for at least one year before filing the case);
- The country where the plaintiff lives (provided they have lived there for at least six months before filing the case and is the citizen of the country).
Divorcing third-country citizens
Non-EU citizens who want to divorce Poles (and vice versa) can conduct divorce activities in Poland if:
- they both had the most recent place of residence in Poland and if one of them still resides in Poland;
- the plaintiff has been residing in Poland for at least one year before filing the case;
- the plaintiff is a Polish citizen and has been residing in Poland for at least six months before filing the case;
- both spouses are Polish citizens.
The governing law
Even if it turns out that your divorce case should be overseen by a court in Poland, it does not necessarily mean that it will be done in accordance with the Polish law. Which legal system should be the governing one?
- Spouses’ common law – if both of them are Polish, but one of them holds another passport, the divorce should be still done in accordance with the Polish law;
- If there is no common law for the spouses – the law of the country where both of the spouses reside;
- If there is no shared country of residence – the law of the country where the spouses last lived together if one of them still resides there;
- If there is no such circumstances – the Polish law.
If a divorce is obtained in a foreing coutry, it is recognised by the Polish law.
If both spouses file for divorce, one case is to be discontinued in order to prevent the passing of two different judgements. The earlier case is the one that is being considered.
Despite doing our best to provide accurate information, please always consult a lawyer in matters of such great importance.
Do you have any experience in this delicate matters? How did you handle your international divorce?