Divorce falls under the Latvian Family Law in the Civil Code. Since Latvia became an EU member state, the Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 allows for out-of-court divorce along with the traditional marriage dissolution in front of a judge. In Latvia, a divorce procedure can be initiated if spouses have not been living together for at least three years.
Divorce procedure in Latvia
In case of mutual agreement, a notary public can dissolve the marriage. First, spouses must agree on the division of common property, whether these are assets or real estate property, child custody and alimony. In case of out-of-court divorce, spouses can also appoint representatives that will go in front of the notary and present all necessary documentation for the divorce procedure. A notarial divorce will take up to a month in Latvia.
In case of judicial divorce, the judge will rule for marriage dissolution in case the spouses have not been living together for the last three years. A judge may decide to offer the couple a reconciliation period that could take up to six months, in the following cases:
- domestic violence;
- one or both spouses file for marriage dissolution after less than three years;
- one of the spouses has left the conjugal home, lives with another person and has a child outside the marriage.
In case one of the spouses does not agree to the divorce, the judge will not pronounce the divorce unless the three year period has passed.
Division of common property in divorce cases in Latvia
According to the Act on Civil Procedure, Section 238, a divorce will be pronounced only after the spouses have agreed to the division of common property in Latvia.
In case of not reaching an understanding, the Civil Code may be enforced and the spouses will keep any asset and property acquired before getting married and any asset and property obtained separately while married. If a marriage contract has been signed, the property division will be made according to the contract stipulations.
Child custody and support in Latvia
In case of child custody, spouses must reach an agreement before the divorce is granted in Latvia. Usually when it comes to the responsibility concerning minor children, the judge will grant joint custody to the former spouses, but the child or children will live with one of the parents who will take care of the child or children’s daily needs. The law states that both parents are responsible for the children’s welfare until they are able to provide it for themselves.
You can contact our lawyers in Latvia, if you need details about the divorce procedures. Our law firm in Latvia will help you with information about the divorce procedures and it will represent you in front of the Latvian courts of justice.
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