Divorce in Hungary

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What is the schedule of a divorce in Hungary?

After coming to the decision to divorce in Hungary, one important question surely arises soon: How does it go? The schedule of this procedure is not so complicated, and after our short description you can see what you can expect.

1. Handing in the claim to the court

In Hungary, divorce can be decided only by national courts.

The positions like “plaintiff” and “defendant” has no meanings in deciding the case. These are just legal expressions marking the parties. No matter who is the person starting the procedure, the parties will have equal rights.

The claim has to contain several obligatory elements, so it is better to leave it to a professional to write it. Writing a claim with insufficient information and in a wrong format may lead to immediate rejection without even looking at the case.

After handing in the claim the court usually sends a summoning in 3 weeks that says the court hearing will be around in a month after the delivery of such summoning. This means that after handing in a divorce claim, the hearing will be held probably in a 2 months’ period.

2. Appearing at court

In divorce procedures the personal appearance of the parties is more important than in other cases, that’s why it is an obligatory. There are some exceptions, when being absent is acceptable. For example living abroad as a non-EU citizen is usually accepted if having not visa to travel here. Or having a serious illness that makes the person unable to travel to the court, or other unexpected happenings, like earthquakes, disasters, etc. that causes the person not being able to appear at court.

Not speaking Hungarian language is not a disadvantage. If either party is unable to speak or understand Hungarian language, the Hungarian court must provide him or her an interpreter on a language that person understands and speaks. Non-Hungarian speaking persons can also request the documents from the courts in a language he or she understands. The interpreter and translation services of the courts are for free in Hungary.

3. Hearings and decision

If there is no child, and there is an agreement between the parties, then one hearing is enough. After the hearing the judge announces the divorce, and if neither of the parties wish to appeal, it becomes final. However, it can become final at once only if both of the parties communicate this intention to the court at the hearing. If it is not the case, they have to wait for the 15 days’ deadline after delivering the decision, that may take weeks, because they have to write it down and translate if necessary.

If there is no agreement and / or there is a child born during the marriage, there are more hearings, because the judge has to examine the case in details, listen to witnesses, the parties, etc.

4. Registration of the divorce

After the parties have the final decision of the court, the registration of the divorce at the Hungarian registrars is done automatically. However, the registration in the country where the marriage was concluded has to be done separately.

Please keep in mind that only a divorce decree itself is not automatically final. Only if both of the parties declared at the court that they agree its content, the court will finalize it. If either of the parties miss this declaration, the court will wait until both parties receive the decision, and 15 days elapse. After that the court sends a finalizing decision. This means the divorce decree is executable only with the finalizing decision.

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