„Under Hungarian Family Law the basic condition of the divorce is the fact that the marriage has broken down entirely and irretrievably so there is no chance to save the marriage. The divorce can be initiated by any of the spouses or jointly as well in court. The approval of the other spouse is not necessary for filing a divorce action, neither the fact that the spouse who is entirely responsible for the breakdown of the marriage has petitioned to dissolve the marital bond.

There are two main ways to divorce according to the Hungarian Family Law, either with or without mutual consent. In the first case the court does not have to investigate the reasons that led to the breakdown of a marriage because the mutual consent of the spouses is considered as an undoubtful evidence of the breakdown by the court.

The parties can divorce with mutual consent in two different ways in court. Either the spouses have to agree on the followings: custody and maintenance of the mutual child, parents’ right for contact, the legal situation of the matrimonial home after the marriage, and the distribution of the mutual marital property (except the real estate(s)).

The agreement has to be declared in front of the court and has to be recorded in a minute. Furthermore the court has to investigate if the consent is in the interest of the mutual minor child or whether it is not disadvantegous to any of the parties.

Alternatively, the spouses can declare that they have lived apart in the last 3 years and they have agreed on the custody and maintenance of their mutual child. In the latter case only these facts have to be proven in the divorce proceeding it is not necessary to make an additional agreement in front of the court.

If there is no chance to divorce by mutual consent the court has to investigate the reasons that led to the breakdown of the marriage. In this case the lawsuit definately lasts longer and is more painful for the parties.”

By Dr. Judit Szegő