Divorce in Hungary

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Two types of divorce procedure in Hungary

Several countries have different solutions for divorce, with different conditions. Hungary offers two ways: the first type is based on the parties’ mutual consent, the second is based on evidences in case of argument. We would like to introduce you in short and simply the main features of these procedures.

 1. Mutual consent

The simplest way to divorce is to have a mutual agreement between the parties. This means that if the parties have decided on their own based on their free will that they want to divorce, and they agree in all important questions related to the divorce, the Hungarian authorities will not examine the circumstances how and why the marriage went wrong.

For making such an agreement, the parties have to discuss at least the following questions:

  • the use of the common house or flat
  • spousal support if either party lays a claim for that
  • placement of child
  •  maintenance of child
  • regulation of visitation between the child and the absent parent

For the fastest and safest divorce it is the best to agree in writing, and appear before court personally so that the judge can make sure about the determination of the parties. If the divorce follows this schedule, the divorce can be finished in 3 month from handing the claim to the court, and only one hearing will be hold.

In case either of the parties are unable to be present at court, but there is a written agreement, the courts have different practice for such cases, because the legal regulation for that is not clearly specified. In most cases the litigation turns into the other type of divorce, where the agreement can be used as a proof.

2. Evidence-based divorce

This type of divorce is based on the evidences proving that the marriage is irreversibly broken, and there is no hope for recovery. This kind of divorce is also possible when the other party doesn’t want to divorce, doesn’t agree in the relevant questions, or doesn’t appear at court.

The “irreversibly broken marriage” mean several situations, including the followings:

  • Cheating: this may cause divorce especially when the cheating is regular, or the cheater lives with a new partner. However, we have to mention that if the cheating person requests divorce and the other party forgives the cheating, the judge will refuse the divorce request. If there is a hope for reunion, divorce is not possible.
  • Abuse: nobody has to bear any physical abuse, and such action can be a base of divorce.
  • Illness: especially incurable serious illnesses, if the illness endangers the health of the spouse or the children, or makes the everyday life unbearable (for example mental illness, insane).
  • Imprisonment: usually a longer term of imprisonment itself is considered to cause the break of a marriage. However, the judge examines what kind of influence the crime and the imprisonment have to the relationship, and does it lead to a final breakdown.
  • Separation: the separation is an expression of the intention of divorce. However, the length and the circumstances must be always examined. For example living abroad for working is not a cause for separation.

In this kind of divorce the evidences are very important. The evidences must be provided by the person, who starts the procedure. At Hungarian courts evidence can be anything that has an authentic source regardless its form. But it’s the judge’s right to decide the strength of them. The followings are the most common evidences:

  • Witnesses: witness can be anybody who knows about the marriage, knows the situation the parties are in, and knows the reason how and why the marriage went bad. It is also important that the witness must appear personally at the court. It is not important to speak Hungarian, they can have interpreter. Usually relatives are requested to be witnesses (parents, sisters, brothers, etc.), but the new partner, close friends, or neighbours can also be witnesses.
  • Documents: the most official, the best it is. For example, passport can prove when somebody left the country, or a lease or purchase contract of a new flat can also prove the separation. Clinical documents proving abuse or mental illness. Letters written to each other containing referrals to divorce can also be used.
  • Photos: photos with date and taken at places well recognizable. This can prove for example that one of the partner has started a new life, already living with someone else, etc.
  • E-mails: either with each other talking about divorce, or with the new partner talking about the intention of marriage, etc.

The above mentioned are only examples. There are other possibilities for evidences. The most preferred is to summon two witnesses. If it’s impossible, the best would be to prepare as many of the other possibilities as you can, because the custom of the court shows that they are usually considered to be weaker.

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