How to dissolve a migrants marriage? We can´t get divorce in the Czech Republic
Love, love…. when there is none, you desire it, when you have it; you get pretty annoyed about it.
When we fell in love with each other and my husband-to-be was planning to go abroad, we had to sort out whether to break up or to marry. So we got married…and moved to the Czech Republic. If it hadn’t been for the marriage, I wouldn´t have survived the first year here. Like with tourist visa, with the visa for family reunification you are not allowed to work here. You are always sitting at home like a fool, having time to kill and in the evening you throw yourself at your husband while he wants to have some rest after work. Maybe, we even shouldn´t have got married….
After we had got permanent-residence status, we broke up anyway. Suspicious, isn´t it? They got married, got permanent residency, broke up and the woman has barely any income. And what if they revoke my permanent residency? All efforts to adapt will go to hell. Girl, start all over again! And this time in Russia.
I really don´t want to go through all this again. I was scared and tried to put the divorce off. He had his reasons too.
“Vláďa, do we have to get divorced at all? What do you think?”
“I think we have to. It´s a good idea.”
“Why? I don´t mind it that much.”
“It could get annoying in the future. Let’s say, when you urgently need to marry some handsome Czech or English or – I don´t know – American. You want to go to Australia, so maybe some Australian. You will need to deal with it quickly and then it will be a problem.”
“We haven’t been living together for a year now and we are still not divorced. So, why didn’t we do it earlier?”
“Because I haven’t got the readies. It’s terribly expensive in Czechia.”
“Well, how much does it cost?”
“A year ago, it was around six thousand. It would be twelve altogether.”
“So what shall we do, Vláďa? Is there any way not to spend the money? Or earn them?”
“Earn the money, that´s a good idea! I’ll definitely go for it! Let´s do it!” (laughing)
“OK, so there´s no other way.”
“Well yes, there is … a power of attorney must be written.”
“Who’s got to write it and to whom?”
“When one of us goes to Russia, back home to Saint Petersburg, the other one will grant a power of attorney so that we can file for divorce in our home country, then. And that will cost 100 roubles, which are 60 Czech crowns.”
“Well, that´s much cheaper! I’ve heard about another way. For example, you … can go to Russia to file for divorce there. I will not show up at the court three times and the divorce will come through without me.”
“But I don´t want to go to the court. For me, the court is the last chance. If somebody goes to the court, it means that they have no more options. That´s not our case. We have agreed we are getting divorced anyway.”
I spoke to Dima. Dima was married but had not lived with his wife for about a year and a half. Then, he met Varyl, they wanted to get married so he had to divorce his wife. I am interested in how it went on, if they faced any obstacles.
“Of course, there were troubles as we had got married outside the Czech Republic. The divorce must have been handled outside the Czech Republic, too. The presence of both husband and wife was required, which was physically impossible, so I had to do it via court. And all the procedures took around three months.”
“And could not that have been done in Czechia somehow?”
“No, it could not have been done in Czechia because we hadn´t got married in here.”
“I know that, for example, a Russian marriage, which you enter into in Russia, can be divorced in Czechia at the consulate.”
“It cannot be done at the Moldovan consulate. I’ve asked about it and it cannot be done.”
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This article is one of the migrants’ contributions to the project Migration to the Centre and was created with the cooperation of the organization People in Need.
The article has been written with support of the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union and the International Visegrad Fund. The article reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Ksana Vachruševa gradueted in Psychology and Pedagogy. She works as a foreign languages teacher. In her free time she likes to dance and travel. Her motto: life is too short to waste it.