What are the consequences of divorce by mutual consent?

Divorces by mutual consent i.e. without adjudicating fault are becoming more and more popular method of ending marriages, due to its many benefits. A divorce by mutual consent helps parties to save much time and obtain a divorce decree quickly without taking part in fruitless court disputes. Moreover, in many cases, this solution allows the spouses to maintain good relations after divorce and protects their interests in the event of future maintenance claims, since their mutual maintenance obligations continue only for five years after the divorce.

When is divorce by mutual consent recommended?

Our law office recommends filing a petition for divorce by mutual consent if neither spouse is really culpable for the marital breakdown. This occurs most frequently when the marriage has broken down otherwise than through purposeful and deliberate actions of either or both of the spouses, but due to some factors independent of their will such as e.g. personality differences, conflicting goals, plans or visions of married life, long-term separation due to professional duties or other extraordinary occurrences. In some cases, the couple intending to get married are aware of certain obstacles which can adversely affect their marriage, but optimistically believe that they can be overcome or ignored. Only after some time they realise that they were wrong, and so was the decision to get married. In such a case, they decide to get divorced by mutual consent in an honest and respectful manner.

Divorce by mutual consent is also a good option if each spouse is more or less to blame for the marital breakdown. In such a case, determination of guilt is purposeless, as the court may resolve that both spouses are guilty. In such circumstances, each of them may be obliged to pay maintenance for the benefit of the other for a period exceeding 5 years. Moreover, proceedings aiming at determining the fault, substantially lengthen duration and costs of divorce.

What is divorce mediation all about and does it really work?

In many cases, the spouses take part in divorce mediation in order to negotiate the matters concerning their divorce. Such negotiations are attended by a professional mediator and attorneys representing the parties. During mediation, both spouses reserve the right to present their standpoints and discuss all divorce-related details. Typically, such mediation continues for several weeks or months. During that period, parties can attend a series of meetings order to work out a mutually satisfactory solution. As opposed to a court trial which is highly formalised and does not provide any chance for negotiations, mediations give the parties the opportunity to exchange their views and talk. Mediations may be also carried out at a law office, just in the presence of attorneys representing the parties, and without a mediator. Practically, thanks to the help of professional attorneys who, apart from knowledge of law, rely on their unbiasedness and experience, the parties very often manage to elaborate their common positions.

What other implications does divorce by mutual consent have?

Divorce by mutual consent does not only imply that the spouses have decided not to determine who is to blame for the marital breakdown. Its legal consequences also apply to their common children, including the distribution of parental custody over minors, frequency of contacts, maintenance and other relevant factors affecting children. Moreover, mutual arrangements may also regulate the division of the joint property of spouses without instituting a separate judicial proceedings for this purpose.

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