What should a divorce petition contain? [detailed instructions and divorce petition template]

divorce petition
Piotr Kłodziński|
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During the pandemic, the courts recorded a large increase in the number of lawsuits received divorce. The decision to dissolve a marriage often resulted from spouses' conflicts caused by the deterioration of their financial situation, health problems, or even limited opportunities to leave home. Let's be honest, the time spent together in a small space turned out to be rather conflict-generating.

Either spouse can bring an action to court divorce petition. However, for the claim to be effective and the court process to be as short as possible, one should remember a number of key elements that every divorce petition should include.

What exactly is divorce?

Divorce is a legal institution that allows you to dissolve a marriage while the spouses are still alive (marriage also ends when one of the spouses dies). Divorce process its purpose is to bring order and minimize the consequences of the dissolution of a marriage. This means that during the divorce process, a number of matters related to the spouses' current life together are determined, such as the division of joint property or custody of minor children. The divorce process begins when the divorce petition is filed with the court.

How long does a divorce take in Poland?

The answer to the question of how long a divorce case takes is, of course, ambiguous. Courts usually (because there are no rigid rules) schedule the first divorce hearing 3 to 9 months after the divorce petition is filed with the court. The date of the first hearing also depends on how quickly the second spouse responds to the lawsuit.

Many factors influence the length of the court process in divorce cases. The main ones include:

  • type of divorce: with or without a finding of fault;
  • having common minor children by marriage;
  • marital property;
  • timely appearance of parties and witnesses at hearings;
  • number of witnesses scheduled for examination;

The most common type of divorce in Poland is a no-fault divorce. The case of divorce without a finding of fault may end at the first hearing if the spouses agree in requesting a divorce and do not have any minor children together. Spouses with joint minor children can also obtain a divorce quite quickly if they agree on child custody arrangements.

In turn, the cases of divorce with a finding of guilt they can even last for years. The court then tries to familiarize itself with the arguments of each party, with the evidence presented by the spouses, and often has to hear dozens of witnesses called by the parties. Only after analyzing all the evidence collected in the case, the court will issue a divorce decree. 

In the case of a fault-based divorce case, divorce proceedings usually last from 1 year to up to 5 years.  Moreover, obtaining a divorce decree in the first instance - in the district court - does not always mean the end of the divorce case. Each spouse who is not satisfied with the divorce judgment has the right to appeal against the judgment by filing an appeal to the court of appeal. The appeal extends the divorce proceedings for further months or even years.

To sum up: The court also wants the case to be resolved as quickly as possible, but still fully and reliably. If the divorcing spouses, despite their emotions, help him by not arguing in the letters and at the hearing, and by first agreeing on as many issues as possible, the divorce will be possible faster. However, if the parties want to divorce instead of getting a divorce, unfortunately the case may drag on much longer.

Important news - during the pandemic, divorces in Poland are increasingly being conducted without a hearing, solely on the basis of written testimony and positions of the parties. However, this procedure is reserved only for the simplest, least complicated and least controversial cases.

How much does a divorce cost?

How much does a divorce cost?? The cost of a divorce case depends on many factors, including: depending on the type of divorce requested, the complexity of the case or the decision to use the help of a professional attorney.

First, the party filing the lawsuit (i.e. filing for divorce) must pay a court fee. The divorce filing fee is PLN 600. This amount can be paid at the court's cash desk or by transfer to a specific bank account of a given district court - you can find them on their websites. Please remember that proof of payment of the fee (confirmation from the court cash register or transfer confirmation) must be attached to the claim.

In the case of a no-fault divorce, the plaintiff actually bears PLN 150 of the lawsuit fee, because after the proceedings are completed, the defendant spouse returns PLN 150 to the plaintiff and the court issues a decision ordering him to return another PLN 300 of the amount paid.

If the court, at the request of one of the parties, issues a judgment declaring the exclusive guilt of one of the spouses, the losing spouse bears the full court costs, i.e. the cost of the lawsuit as well as other possible costs (e.g. the cost of an expert). Therefore PLN 600 claim fee is returned to the account of the spouse who filed for divorce, but the court decreed the divorce due to the sole fault of the person the spouse sued.

It is also possible to obtain exemption from the court fee - an application for exemption from the fee must be submitted together with a declaration of the applicant's income and assets.

Moreover, if the spouses are unable to reach an agreement (for example in the form of a contract) on the division of joint property, a court division of property will be necessary. The cost of dividing the spouses' property in court will be PLN 300 - if the property is divided accordingly - or PLN 1,000 if the property division is controversial.

When deciding on the division of real estate belonging to joint property, it is worth choosing court division, because it will most likely turn out to be cheaper than division made by a notary. On the other hand, we have recently observed a positive trend - spouses, wanting to avoid unnecessary proceedings in this regard, meet in advance at a notary and divide the property between themselves.

It also significantly speeds up the court proceedings - after all, it is only necessary to the extent that the parties to the case cannot reach an agreement, and of course in the matter of the divorce itself.

Any legal doubts related to divorce certainly will be resolved by a professional representativeLegal Counsel or a lawyer - who will also advise on the most effective trial strategy in a given situation and will handle the divorce case. It should be remembered that the party who loses the trial (if one of the parties applies, for example, to dissolve the divorce due to the sole fault of the other party and wins the case), reimburses a small part of the other party's attorney's fees (in the amount of the current rate resulting from the previously mentioned regulation of the Ministry of Justice , currently PLN 720). The actual remuneration for conducting a case by a professional attorney ranges from PLN 1,000 to even PLN 20-30,000. However, we know from experience that the parties' profits resulting from the involvement of a professional are often much greater.

Other possible costs of a divorce case include:

  • remuneration for the mediator if the spouses decide to use mediation (cost approximately PLN 50-200 per hour per person);
  • remuneration of the family guardian if the court orders a community interview (cost approximately PLN 80);
  • additional court costs in the event of awarding alimony (depending on the amount of alimony awarded);

In the case of cases without a finding of guilt, as a rule, neither party reimburses the other party's attorney's fees.

Which court hears divorce petitions?

The first step in preparing a divorce petition is to designate the court to which the petition is to be submitted. The competent court to hear a divorce petition is: district Court, in whose district both spouses had their place of residence, if at least one of them has his place of residence or residence in the district of this court. Moreover, a change of place of residence after filing a divorce petition does not result in a change of the court hearing the divorce case.

Example: The couple lived in Śródmieście in Warsaw. After the separation, the wife lives in Ryki, and the husband still lives in Warsaw, but in Ursynów. The divorce petition should be filed with the District Court in Warsaw because the spouses' place of residence was within the district of this court and one of the spouses, the husband, still lives in the district of this court. If the spouses did not have a common place of residence or neither of them lives there anymore, then the lawsuit must be filed with the court having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the defendant spouse. If his place of residence cannot be determined, the lawsuit is filed with the court of the place of residence of the plaintiff spouse.

Example: The couple lived in Śródmieście in Warsaw. After the separation, the wife lives in London and the husband in Krakow. The lawsuit is filed by the wife. The divorce petition must be filed with the District Court in Krakow because neither of the spouses lives in a shared apartment in Warsaw anymore and the defendant husband's place of residence is in the district of the District Court in Krakow.

Identification of the parties to the proceedings

The next step in preparing a divorce petition is to indicate the parties to the proceedings, i.e. the plaintiff (the spouse who files the lawsuit and requests a divorce) and the defendant (the spouse from whom the plaintiff wants to divorce).

The petition must include the following details of each spouse:

  • first name and last name;
  • current residential address;
  • PESEL number;

Demand in a divorce petition: divorce – with or without a finding of fault

The petition must specify the demand, i.e. indicate what the spouse demands on its basis.

First of all, it should be indicated whether the court is to dissolve the marriage due to the sole fault of the defendant, or whether the plaintiff requests a divorce without adjudicating on fault.

The court may rule:

  • divorce without a finding of fault;
  • divorce due to the sole fault of one of the spouses, that both spouses are guilty of the breakdown of the marriage;
  • divorce due to the fault of both spouses;

Divorce without a finding of fault it is statistically easier to obtain, as well as several times faster and cheaper.

In turn, a divorce with a judgment of sole fault makes it only slightly easier to claim alimony from the former spouse and its duration is longer. In the case of a no-fault judgment or a divorce due to the fault of both parties, the spouse may only demand alimony if he or she is in need. A significant disadvantage is that the process of adjudicating guilt usually ends much later.

However, if the court finds that only one of the parties was at fault in the breakdown of the marriage, the innocent spouse may demand alimony regardless of whether he or she is in need. It is enough that the divorce results in a significant deterioration of the innocent spouse's financial situation. The courts distinguish this condition - poverty is a situation in which we cannot meet the basic needs of life (a roof over our heads, food), a significant deterioration of the financial situation - a significant change compared to the situation before the divorce.

However, if the spouse considering divorce is aware that he is also responsible for the breakdown of the marital life or simply knows that his financial situation will not significantly deteriorate after the divorce (especially in relation to the other spouse), he should first consider filing for divorce without adjudicating on guilt. 

Satisfaction with the verdict of the other party's guilt, after several years of the trial, is usually replaced by fatigue and the desire to close the case as quickly as possible. The professional experience of lawyers shows that there are very rare clients who, after a few years, do not regret the emotional decision they made to apply for a divorce with the other party being found guilty.

Example: If one of the spouses cheated and the other one abused alcohol due to the partner's infidelity, the court will most likely rule that both parties are to blame for the breakdown of the marriage. Therefore, there will be no grounds for awarding alimony due to a significant deterioration of the financial situation. If one spouse wants to claim alimony from the other, he or she will have to prove that he or she is in need.

NOTE: a decision on the guilt of one of the parties in a divorce case generally has no impact on the division of property or the amount of child support!

In the claim request, the plaintiff should also specify what evidence he wants to present in the case - for example, the spouse wants witnesses to testify in the case. The plaintiff must also indicate what circumstances the evidence refers to.

Example: The plaintiff requests evidence from the testimony of Jan Kowalski, a private detective, to confirm her husband's adultery. 

However, it should be remembered that calling witnesses usually significantly prolongs the proceedings and is only necessary in cases where evidence, e.g. of the guilt of one of the parties, cannot be obtained in any other way.

how much does a divorce cost?

How to effectively obtain a divorce - or how to write a justification for a divorce petition

The main part of the lawsuit is its justification. In the justification part of the divorce petition, the plaintiff-spouse indicates why he or she wants to divorce the defendant-spouse.

Each divorce petition should contain certain information about the spouses' lives and the circumstances that prove the termination of the marriage.

These include:

  • date and place of marriage;
  • the course of the marriage;
  • substantiation of the permanent and complete breakdown of marital life;

For the court to grant a divorce, it must be proven that it existed between the spouses complete and irretrievable breakdown of marital life.

The complete breakdown of marital life occurs when all marital bonds have ceased between the spouses, i.e. the spiritual bond, the physical bond and the economic bond. It should be emphasized that when the spouses are connected only by economic ties, the court is very likely to grant a divorce. However, even sporadic physical relations between spouses generally mean that the breakdown of marital life is not yet complete.

In turn, the permanent breakdown of marital life means that the lack of bond between the spouses lasts so long that there is no chance of rebuilding the marriage. In practice, a necessary condition for recognizing that the marriage has broken down irretrievably is that at least several months have passed since its occurrence.

Example: The spouses live together, but for years they have not maintained any spiritual or physical ties and run separate households. In the above-mentioned example, there was a permanent and complete breakdown of the marriage - although the spouses live in one house, there are no close bonds between them that characterize marriage. But the court can make sure that they do not share a bedroom or products in the fridge.

Example: The spouses do not maintain any physical ties and do not run a common household, but they visit friends together and provide mutual assistance during illness - in the form of purchases for which they reimburse each other. In the above-mentioned example, there was a permanent and complete breakdown of marital life - they have good relations, but there are no mutual marital feelings between them.

If a short time has passed since the spouses separated, the court may consider that it is only a temporary crisis in the marriage and not a permanent breakdown of the marriage. The court may then refer the spouses to mediation, which may extend the court proceedings by up to several months. In exceptional situations, however, it can be assumed that the breakdown of the marriage occurred suddenly and irreversibly - for example, after a spouse was beaten.

Moreover, the court will not dissolve a marriage if a divorce decree would be contrary to the good of common minor children or the principles of social coexistence. The concept of the child's best interests should be understood as the child's physical and spiritual development, as well as the minor's property interests

Importantly, the spouse solely responsible for the breakdown of the marriage will not obtain a divorce without the consent of the other spouse, unless the innocent spouse's refusal to consent to the divorce is contrary to the principles of social coexistence. In practice, of course, not giving such consent does not make much sense - because it is impossible to force the spouse to do anything. This way you can only prevent him from starting a "new" life.

Example: In 2020, Anna Kowalska filed for the dissolution of a marriage concluded in 2005 without adjudicating guilt after she was caught cheating. The spouse did not agree to the divorce. He forgave his wife for his documented marital infidelity and declared that he still loved his wife. He argued that he was not responsible for the temporary breakdown of marital life. Moreover, he declared that he wanted to continue his marriage with Anna Kowalska. In such a situation, the District Court may dismiss the suit for divorce of the Kowalski couple.

The causes of marital breakdown include three basic groups:

  • culpable (e.g. adultery, violence, aggression, humiliation of a spouse);
  • not at fault (e.g. difference of characters);
  • reasons that may be considered - depending on the circumstances - culpable or not culpable (e.g. conflict with the spouse's family, infertility, significant age difference between spouses).

Based on the circumstances of the case, the court assesses whether the breakdown of the parties' marital life is permanent and complete. If the parties cite trivial reasons for the breakdown of the marriage, and the court does not find other significantly important reasons for the breakdown, the divorce petition may be dismissed due to the incomplete breakdown of the marriage.

What documents should be attached to the divorce petition?

The divorce petition must be prepared in two copies - both copies are submitted to the court - one is for the court, the other for the defendant spouse. Each copy must be signed. Both copies of the claim should be accompanied by, among others: the following attachments:

  • an abbreviated copy of the marriage certificate (preferably not older than 3 months);
  • abridged copy of the birth certificate;
  • proof of payment of the court fee in the amount of PLN 600;
  • the petition can also be accompanied by an agreement between the spouses on how to exercise parental authority, which will significantly speed up the divorce proceedings, or, for example, documents confirming earnings and living costs - if the alimony obligation will be determined in the case;
  • other evidence justifying the circumstances cited in the case.

We attach the original attachments to the original statement of claim, while we attach a photocopy to the transcript (the second copy of the statement of claim).

We provide a typical divorce petition template. In practice, however, it will be much faster and easier to seek help from a professional - he will simply make fewer mistakes, and thus allow you to go through this unpleasant process as smoothly and effectively as possible.

Divorce is definitely a more important event in your life than, for example, car repair. Since most of us leave such matters to professionals, we also recommend leaving this matter in the hands of professionals - legal advisors and lawyers specializing in family law matters.

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During the pandemic, the courts recorded a large increase in the number of lawsuits received divorce. The decision to dissolve a marriage often resulted from spouses' conflicts caused by the deterioration of their financial situation, health problems, or even limited opportunities to leave home. Let's be honest, the time spent together in a small space turned out to be rather conflict-generating.

Either spouse can bring an action to court divorce petition. However, for the claim to be effective and the court process to be as short as possible, one should remember a number of key elements that every divorce petition should include.

What exactly is divorce?

Divorce is a legal institution that allows you to dissolve a marriage while the spouses are still alive (marriage also ends when one of the spouses dies). Divorce process its purpose is to bring order and minimize the consequences of the dissolution of a marriage. This means that during the divorce process, a number of matters related to the spouses' current life together are determined, such as the division of joint property or custody of minor children. The divorce process begins when the divorce petition is filed with the court.

How long does a divorce take in Poland?

The answer to the question of how long a divorce case takes is, of course, ambiguous. Courts usually (because there are no rigid rules) schedule the first divorce hearing 3 to 9 months after the divorce petition is filed with the court. The date of the first hearing also depends on how quickly the second spouse responds to the lawsuit.

Many factors influence the length of the court process in divorce cases. The main ones include:

  • type of divorce: with or without a finding of fault;
  • having common minor children by marriage;
  • marital property;
  • timely appearance of parties and witnesses at hearings;
  • number of witnesses scheduled for examination;

The most common type of divorce in Poland is a no-fault divorce. The case of divorce without a finding of fault may end at the first hearing if the spouses agree in requesting a divorce and do not have any minor children together. Spouses with joint minor children can also obtain a divorce quite quickly if they agree on child custody arrangements.

In turn, the cases of divorce with a finding of guilt they can even last for years. The court then tries to familiarize itself with the arguments of each party, with the evidence presented by the spouses, and often has to hear dozens of witnesses called by the parties. Only after analyzing all the evidence collected in the case, the court will issue a divorce decree. 

In the case of a fault-based divorce case, divorce proceedings usually last from 1 year to up to 5 years.  Moreover, obtaining a divorce decree in the first instance - in the district court - does not always mean the end of the divorce case. Each spouse who is not satisfied with the divorce judgment has the right to appeal against the judgment by filing an appeal to the court of appeal. The appeal extends the divorce proceedings for further months or even years.

To sum up: The court also wants the case to be resolved as quickly as possible, but still fully and reliably. If the divorcing spouses, despite their emotions, help him by not arguing in the letters and at the hearing, and by first agreeing on as many issues as possible, the divorce will be possible faster. However, if the parties want to divorce instead of getting a divorce, unfortunately the case may drag on much longer.

Important news - during the pandemic, divorces in Poland are increasingly being conducted without a hearing, solely on the basis of written testimony and positions of the parties. However, this procedure is reserved only for the simplest, least complicated and least controversial cases.

How much does a divorce cost?

How much does a divorce cost?? The cost of a divorce case depends on many factors, including: depending on the type of divorce requested, the complexity of the case or the decision to use the help of a professional attorney.

First, the party filing the lawsuit (i.e. filing for divorce) must pay a court fee. The divorce filing fee is PLN 600. This amount can be paid at the court's cash desk or by transfer to a specific bank account of a given district court - you can find them on their websites. Please remember that proof of payment of the fee (confirmation from the court cash register or transfer confirmation) must be attached to the claim.

In the case of a no-fault divorce, the plaintiff actually bears PLN 150 of the lawsuit fee, because after the proceedings are completed, the defendant spouse returns PLN 150 to the plaintiff and the court issues a decision ordering him to return another PLN 300 of the amount paid.

If the court, at the request of one of the parties, issues a judgment declaring the exclusive guilt of one of the spouses, the losing spouse bears the full court costs, i.e. the cost of the lawsuit as well as other possible costs (e.g. the cost of an expert). Therefore PLN 600 claim fee is returned to the account of the spouse who filed for divorce, but the court decreed the divorce due to the sole fault of the person the spouse sued.

It is also possible to obtain exemption from the court fee - an application for exemption from the fee must be submitted together with a declaration of the applicant's income and assets.

Moreover, if the spouses are unable to reach an agreement (for example in the form of a contract) on the division of joint property, a court division of property will be necessary. The cost of dividing the spouses' property in court will be PLN 300 - if the property is divided accordingly - or PLN 1,000 if the property division is controversial.

When deciding on the division of real estate belonging to joint property, it is worth choosing court division, because it will most likely turn out to be cheaper than division made by a notary. On the other hand, we have recently observed a positive trend - spouses, wanting to avoid unnecessary proceedings in this regard, meet in advance at a notary and divide the property between themselves.

It also significantly speeds up the court proceedings - after all, it is only necessary to the extent that the parties to the case cannot reach an agreement, and of course in the matter of the divorce itself.

Any legal doubts related to divorce certainly will be resolved by a professional representativeLegal Counsel or a lawyer - who will also advise on the most effective trial strategy in a given situation and will handle the divorce case. It should be remembered that the party who loses the trial (if one of the parties applies, for example, to dissolve the divorce due to the sole fault of the other party and wins the case), reimburses a small part of the other party's attorney's fees (in the amount of the current rate resulting from the previously mentioned regulation of the Ministry of Justice , currently PLN 720). The actual remuneration for conducting a case by a professional attorney ranges from PLN 1,000 to even PLN 20-30,000. However, we know from experience that the parties' profits resulting from the involvement of a professional are often much greater.

Other possible costs of a divorce case include:

  • remuneration for the mediator if the spouses decide to use mediation (cost approximately PLN 50-200 per hour per person);
  • remuneration of the family guardian if the court orders a community interview (cost approximately PLN 80);
  • additional court costs in the event of awarding alimony (depending on the amount of alimony awarded);

In the case of cases without a finding of guilt, as a rule, neither party reimburses the other party's attorney's fees.

Which court hears divorce petitions?

The first step in preparing a divorce petition is to designate the court to which the petition is to be submitted. The competent court to hear a divorce petition is: district Court, in whose district both spouses had their place of residence, if at least one of them has his place of residence or residence in the district of this court. Moreover, a change of place of residence after filing a divorce petition does not result in a change of the court hearing the divorce case.

Example: The couple lived in Śródmieście in Warsaw. After the separation, the wife lives in Ryki, and the husband still lives in Warsaw, but in Ursynów. The divorce petition should be filed with the District Court in Warsaw because the spouses' place of residence was within the district of this court and one of the spouses, the husband, still lives in the district of this court. If the spouses did not have a common place of residence or neither of them lives there anymore, then the lawsuit must be filed with the court having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the defendant spouse. If his place of residence cannot be determined, the lawsuit is filed with the court of the place of residence of the plaintiff spouse.

Example: The couple lived in Śródmieście in Warsaw. After the separation, the wife lives in London and the husband in Krakow. The lawsuit is filed by the wife. The divorce petition must be filed with the District Court in Krakow because neither of the spouses lives in a shared apartment in Warsaw anymore and the defendant husband's place of residence is in the district of the District Court in Krakow.

Identification of the parties to the proceedings

The next step in preparing a divorce petition is to indicate the parties to the proceedings, i.e. the plaintiff (the spouse who files the lawsuit and requests a divorce) and the defendant (the spouse from whom the plaintiff wants to divorce).

The petition must include the following details of each spouse:

  • first name and last name;
  • current residential address;
  • PESEL number;

Demand in a divorce petition: divorce – with or without a finding of fault

The petition must specify the demand, i.e. indicate what the spouse demands on its basis.

First of all, it should be indicated whether the court is to dissolve the marriage due to the sole fault of the defendant, or whether the plaintiff requests a divorce without adjudicating on fault.

The court may rule:

  • divorce without a finding of fault;
  • divorce due to the sole fault of one of the spouses, that both spouses are guilty of the breakdown of the marriage;
  • divorce due to the fault of both spouses;

Divorce without a finding of fault it is statistically easier to obtain, as well as several times faster and cheaper.

In turn, a divorce with a judgment of sole fault makes it only slightly easier to claim alimony from the former spouse and its duration is longer. In the case of a no-fault judgment or a divorce due to the fault of both parties, the spouse may only demand alimony if he or she is in need. A significant disadvantage is that the process of adjudicating guilt usually ends much later.

However, if the court finds that only one of the parties was at fault in the breakdown of the marriage, the innocent spouse may demand alimony regardless of whether he or she is in need. It is enough that the divorce results in a significant deterioration of the innocent spouse's financial situation. The courts distinguish this condition - poverty is a situation in which we cannot meet the basic needs of life (a roof over our heads, food), a significant deterioration of the financial situation - a significant change compared to the situation before the divorce.

However, if the spouse considering divorce is aware that he is also responsible for the breakdown of the marital life or simply knows that his financial situation will not significantly deteriorate after the divorce (especially in relation to the other spouse), he should first consider filing for divorce without adjudicating on guilt. 

Satisfaction with the verdict of the other party's guilt, after several years of the trial, is usually replaced by fatigue and the desire to close the case as quickly as possible. The professional experience of lawyers shows that there are very rare clients who, after a few years, do not regret the emotional decision they made to apply for a divorce with the other party being found guilty.

Example: If one of the spouses cheated and the other one abused alcohol due to the partner's infidelity, the court will most likely rule that both parties are to blame for the breakdown of the marriage. Therefore, there will be no grounds for awarding alimony due to a significant deterioration of the financial situation. If one spouse wants to claim alimony from the other, he or she will have to prove that he or she is in need.

NOTE: a decision on the guilt of one of the parties in a divorce case generally has no impact on the division of property or the amount of child support!

In the claim request, the plaintiff should also specify what evidence he wants to present in the case - for example, the spouse wants witnesses to testify in the case. The plaintiff must also indicate what circumstances the evidence refers to.

Example: The plaintiff requests evidence from the testimony of Jan Kowalski, a private detective, to confirm her husband's adultery. 

However, it should be remembered that calling witnesses usually significantly prolongs the proceedings and is only necessary in cases where evidence, e.g. of the guilt of one of the parties, cannot be obtained in any other way.

how much does a divorce cost?

How to effectively obtain a divorce - or how to write a justification for a divorce petition

The main part of the lawsuit is its justification. In the justification part of the divorce petition, the plaintiff-spouse indicates why he or she wants to divorce the defendant-spouse.

Each divorce petition should contain certain information about the spouses' lives and the circumstances that prove the termination of the marriage.

These include:

  • date and place of marriage;
  • the course of the marriage;
  • substantiation of the permanent and complete breakdown of marital life;

For the court to grant a divorce, it must be proven that it existed between the spouses complete and irretrievable breakdown of marital life.

The complete breakdown of marital life occurs when all marital bonds have ceased between the spouses, i.e. the spiritual bond, the physical bond and the economic bond. It should be emphasized that when the spouses are connected only by economic ties, the court is very likely to grant a divorce. However, even sporadic physical relations between spouses generally mean that the breakdown of marital life is not yet complete.

In turn, the permanent breakdown of marital life means that the lack of bond between the spouses lasts so long that there is no chance of rebuilding the marriage. In practice, a necessary condition for recognizing that the marriage has broken down irretrievably is that at least several months have passed since its occurrence.

Example: The spouses live together, but for years they have not maintained any spiritual or physical ties and run separate households. In the above-mentioned example, there was a permanent and complete breakdown of the marriage - although the spouses live in one house, there are no close bonds between them that characterize marriage. But the court can make sure that they do not share a bedroom or products in the fridge.

Example: The spouses do not maintain any physical ties and do not run a common household, but they visit friends together and provide mutual assistance during illness - in the form of purchases for which they reimburse each other. In the above-mentioned example, there was a permanent and complete breakdown of marital life - they have good relations, but there are no mutual marital feelings between them.

If a short time has passed since the spouses separated, the court may consider that it is only a temporary crisis in the marriage and not a permanent breakdown of the marriage. The court may then refer the spouses to mediation, which may extend the court proceedings by up to several months. In exceptional situations, however, it can be assumed that the breakdown of the marriage occurred suddenly and irreversibly - for example, after a spouse was beaten.

Moreover, the court will not dissolve a marriage if a divorce decree would be contrary to the good of common minor children or the principles of social coexistence. The concept of the child's best interests should be understood as the child's physical and spiritual development, as well as the minor's property interests

Importantly, the spouse solely responsible for the breakdown of the marriage will not obtain a divorce without the consent of the other spouse, unless the innocent spouse's refusal to consent to the divorce is contrary to the principles of social coexistence. In practice, of course, not giving such consent does not make much sense - because it is impossible to force the spouse to do anything. This way you can only prevent him from starting a "new" life.

Example: In 2020, Anna Kowalska filed for the dissolution of a marriage concluded in 2005 without adjudicating guilt after she was caught cheating. The spouse did not agree to the divorce. He forgave his wife for his documented marital infidelity and declared that he still loved his wife. He argued that he was not responsible for the temporary breakdown of marital life. Moreover, he declared that he wanted to continue his marriage with Anna Kowalska. In such a situation, the District Court may dismiss the suit for divorce of the Kowalski couple.

The causes of marital breakdown include three basic groups:

  • culpable (e.g. adultery, violence, aggression, humiliation of a spouse);
  • not at fault (e.g. difference of characters);
  • reasons that may be considered - depending on the circumstances - culpable or not culpable (e.g. conflict with the spouse's family, infertility, significant age difference between spouses).

Based on the circumstances of the case, the court assesses whether the breakdown of the parties' marital life is permanent and complete. If the parties cite trivial reasons for the breakdown of the marriage, and the court does not find other significantly important reasons for the breakdown, the divorce petition may be dismissed due to the incomplete breakdown of the marriage.

What documents should be attached to the divorce petition?

The divorce petition must be prepared in two copies - both copies are submitted to the court - one is for the court, the other for the defendant spouse. Each copy must be signed. Both copies of the claim should be accompanied by, among others: the following attachments:

  • an abbreviated copy of the marriage certificate (preferably not older than 3 months);
  • abridged copy of the birth certificate;
  • proof of payment of the court fee in the amount of PLN 600;
  • the petition can also be accompanied by an agreement between the spouses on how to exercise parental authority, which will significantly speed up the divorce proceedings, or, for example, documents confirming earnings and living costs - if the alimony obligation will be determined in the case;
  • other evidence justifying the circumstances cited in the case.

We attach the original attachments to the original statement of claim, while we attach a photocopy to the transcript (the second copy of the statement of claim).

We provide a typical divorce petition template. In practice, however, it will be much faster and easier to seek help from a professional - he will simply make fewer mistakes, and thus allow you to go through this unpleasant process as smoothly and effectively as possible.

Divorce is definitely a more important event in your life than, for example, car repair. Since most of us leave such matters to professionals, we also recommend leaving this matter in the hands of professionals - legal advisors and lawyers specializing in family law matters.

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