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What is the divorce procedure?

Marriage may be terminated by divorce (dissolution), on the basis of the application of one or both spouses or of the guardian of the spouse who has been declared incapable. If the wife defends the divorce, the husband cannot ask for the termination of marriage during her pregnancy and within one year after childbirth if the child was born alive and is living.

According to the law, the marriage can be terminated by the Civil Status Office or by judicial way.

Marriage termination by court

If the spouses have common minors, except for the cases of incapacity, declaration as missing or conviction, or in the absence of a divorce agreement of one of the spouses, marriage shall be terminated by judicial way.

The marriage shall also be terminated by judicial way in cases when both spouses agreed on divorce, but one of them refuses to come to the Civil Status Office to solve the issue.

The court shall terminate the marriage if it finds that spouses’ cohabitation and family preservation in the future are not possible.

If during the examination of the divorce application, one spouse does not consent to the divorce, the court shall defer the examination of the case, setting a deadline for reconciliation of one to six months, except for divorce cases started on the ground confirmed by evidence of domestic violence.

If the reconciliation measures did not work and the spouses continue to insist on divorce, the court shall satisfy this request.

When marriage is terminated, the spouses can submit to the court an agreement on the partition of their common property, child maintenance payment, maintenance payment of the spouse who needs material aid, indicating its amount, as well as on the determination of the parent with whom the common minors will live.

In the absence of an agreement between the spouses, provided for in para. (1), or should it turn out that the agreement infringes the rights and interests of the minors or of one of the spouses, the court shall:

  1. divide, at the request of the spouses (of one of them), their common possessions;
  2. determine the parent who will pay minors’ maintenance payment and its amount;
  3. establish, at the request of the spouse who is unable to work and who is entitled to the maintenance payment from the other spouse, its amount and its method of paying;
  4. decide which of the parents the minor children will be living with after divorce.

Disputes other than the above-mentioned cannot be settled during marriage termination, except for challenging paternity at the request of the husband.

If the partition of spouses’ common property infringes the interest of third parties, the court shall order the examination of this application in a separate trial.

How is the domicile of minors established?

The rights of parents cannot be exercised contrary to their child’s interest. Parents cannot cause damage to the child’s physical and mental health.

Parents will not use any kind of abusive behaviour, insults, ill-treatment, discrimination or psychological or physical violence, corporal punishment, involvement in criminal activities, teaching to abuse alcoholic beverages, to use drugs or psychotropic substances, gamble, beg or engage in other illegal activities in bringing up their children.

All problems regarding the child’s upbringing and training shall be solved by parents, by common consent, taking into account the child’s interests and wishes.

Parents bear duly responsibility if they exercise their rights to the detriment of the child’s interests.

If the parents live separately, the domicile of the child who did not reach 14 years of age shall be established as the parents agree.

If such an agreement is not reached, the domicile of the minor shall be decided by the court, taking into account the interests and opinions of the child (if he/she turned 10 years of age). In this case, the court shall consider child’s attachment to each of the parents, to his/her siblings, child’s age, the moral qualities of the parents, the relationships between each parent and the child, the parents’ opportunities to create appropriate conditions for child’s education and development (occupations and working regime, living conditions, etc.)

When establishing the domicile of the minor, the court shall ask for the advice of the guardianship authority in the service area of which each of the parents is domiciled.

How to request the child maintenance payment (alimony)?

The parents are obliged to support their minor children and adult children who are unable to work and who need material aid.

The method of maintenance payment shall be established by a contract concluded between the parents or between the parents and the adult child who is unable to work.

If the parents did not conclude such a contract and do not support their children, the maintenance payment shall be collected by judicial way, at the request of one of the parents, of the child’s guardian or of the guardianship authority.

The maintenance payment for the minor child shall be collected from parents’ salary and/or other income, in the amount of 1/4 – for one child, 1/3 – for two children, 1/2 – for three and more children.

The court may increase or decrease the amount of the above listed quotas, taking into account the material and family status of the parents and other important circumstances.

If some children remain with one parent, and others – with the other, the maintenance payment provided to the less secured parent shall be set in a fixed amount of money established by the court with parent’s participation.

If the parent who must pay the child maintenance has an irregular or fluctuating salary and/or other income, or receives his/her salary and/or other income in whole, in part or in-kind, or does not have a salary and/or other income, as well as in cases when, for some reason, the collection of the maintenance payment as a quota from the salary and/or other income is impossible, difficult or substantially infringes the interests of one of the parties, the court may determine the amount of the maintenance payment in a fixed amount of money paid monthly or, at the same time, in a fixed amount of money and as a quota from the salary and/or other income.

The court shall decide the fixed amount of money to be paid, taking into account the material and family status of the parties, other important circumstances, and maintaining, if possible, the previous level of material support of the child.

How to get the forensic documentation of the injuries?

If you have experienced acts of domestic violence, the documentation of the injuries you and/or your children have suffered is of particular relevance. You can get this documentation by way of forensic examination or expert review, which can be done at the territory medical examiner or other medical examiner of your choice.

The forensic examination of the severity of injuries shall be carried out only on the basis of the written order issued by the criminal investigation officer, the prosecutor or on the basis of a court decision.

The forensic examinations of the severity of one’s injuries shall be carried out at the written request of the law enforcement bodies (prosecutor’s office, police, court) and at the request of the interested person.

In case of forensic examinations at one’s request and the finding of injuries assessed as serious or moderate, the medical examiner shall inform the competent bodies.

A ‘Report on Forensic Expert Review’ shall be developed if a forensic expert review of the severity of injuries was conducted, and a ‘Report on Forensic Examination’ shall be developed if a forensic examination is conducted at the request of law enforcement bodies or of the injured party.

The forensic examination of the severity of injuries shall be performed by the medical examiner by way of a medical examination of the person, in accordance with the Regulation on Forensic Examination of the Severity of Injuries, other instructions and methodical indications in force. This person shall compulsorily be identified on the basis of his/her identity card or other document (passport, etc.), and his/her data shall be included in this ‘Report’.

Performing the examination without examining the person, on the basis of authentic medical documents (in-patient/out-patient medical record, etc.), is admitted. The medical documents shall be submitted in original and shall include sufficient concluding information on trauma’s nature, clinical development, and other information needed to objectify and justify the findings. All information on trauma’s nature, clinical evaluation of the trauma (disease), results of instrumental and laboratory investigations, surgical interventions, and other important data needed to objectify the examination are extracted from the medical documents.

If needed, the medical examiner shall consult healthcare professionals, and hospitalize the person and perform clinical and paraclinical investigations. If the medical examiner is not provided with the needed documents, he/she is entitled to contact the person who has ordered the examination and request these materials.

At the medical examiner’s request, the heads of state healthcare facilities are bound to contribute, and the specialized doctors – to conduct the necessary consultations, to carry out clinical and paraclinical examinations.

The worsening of victim’s (person’s) health status due to the deficiencies in the provision of healthcare following the injuries suffered shall be assessed by a committee, with the participation of professionals in the respective field.

The establishment and assessment of the deficiencies in medical interventions shall be done only within the forensic examination in the committee.

The assessment of the severity of injuries to the persons with pre-existing diseases, individual features of the body, deficiencies in providing healthcare, simulation situations, aggravation, artificial diseases, in case of late referral for medical care shall be performed only on the basis of post-traumatic consequences. In such cases, the medical examiner shall establish and indicate the impact the trauma has had on disease evolution (disease worsening, influence on the thanatology, etc.), including with the participation of the professionals in the field.

The degree of injury severity based on the criterion of health worsening shall be determined according to the time needed to restore the health status, depending on trauma volume and nature, which shall be assessed in days.

The following degrees of severity of the bodily of health injury are established:

  • severe injuries;
  • moderate injuries;
  • minor injuries;
  • insignificant injury.