Divorce in Croatia

Divorce Procedure in Croatia

Updated on Wednesday 17th March 2021

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divorce procedure in croatia.jpgMarriages do not always end up the way couples expect. There may come a time when couples would choose to file for divorce rather than stay together.  A Croatian divorce decree is an affirmative judgment for divorce applications. The divorce procedure in Croatia is governed by the Family Act. Under the law, divorce is one method of terminating the marriage. The union is terminated upon the effectiveness of the judgment rendered by the court. The court that has jurisdiction over divorce cases is the Family Court of Croatia. Our lawyers in Croatia can represent you in your divorce case.

Grounds for divorce in Croatia


Although allowed in the country, couples cannot simply go to court and apply for Croatian divorce. First of all, either spouse can apply for a divorce or both of them can apply together for a consensual divorce.  The court will then study the application and will only grant a divorce if it finds that:
  • the marriage is deeply and irreversibly damaged and it cannot be saved;
  • both spouses have been living separately for more than one year or what is known as de facto separation;
  • both spouses have mutually agreed to end the marriage;
  • there are no children involved, therefore, no legal complications from this point of view.
If you think that you are covered by any of these grounds, our attorneys in Croatia can help you apply for divorce.

Conciliation procedure for divorce in Croatia

After application, the couples do not immediately undergo the divorce procedure in Croatia. They must first undergo a conciliation procedure. When a suit or a consensual application for divorce is filed, the court will refer the couples to their preferred marriage counselor and have them undergo counseling. This is to ensure that all measures are taken in order to resolve any marital disputes. It is the counselor’s job to determine the cause of the marital dispute and try to resolve it. The counselor’s other objective is to educate a couple of the psycho-social effects of divorce. Our law firm in Croatia can inform you further about the conciliation procedure.

Maintenance of a spouse during divorce in Croatia

Either spouse can ask the court for maintenance during the entire divorce proceeding in Croatia. Maintenance means the giving of support for the day to day needs of the applicant spouse. The applicant must show that he/she does not have the means needed for daily life. Our Croatia lawyers can help you apply for maintenance in court. 

How are the properties divided in a divorce in Croatia?

The civil procedure regulations are applicable to the cases in which there is a disagreement regarding the properties in a marriage. This means that a civil termination is applicable, where the real estate properties are sold to share the money. As for the movable assets involved, these can be separated in equivalents through payment or ownership.

Parental agreements in a divorce

The court proceedings are often the solution for the cases in which the parents did not respect the agreements regarding child support, child care, and related matters. The complex proceedings, in this case, might prolong because Croatia aligns with the international legislation that aims to protect the children’s rights in the case of parental divorce. In other words, the children are part of the divorce proceedings in Croatia and they can be heard in the court of law accompanied by the parents and a special representative who will act in the best interest of the minors. We invite you to get in touch with our Croatian attorneys and find out information about the divorce proceedings involving minor children.

Can I appeal a divorce decision in Croatia?

According to the Family Proceedings Act in Croatia and the Civil Procedure Act, appealing a divorce verdict is permitted, meaning that both parties involved in the process may do so. 

Recognition of foreign judgments in a divorce

The enforcement of judgments in a divorce procedure in Croatia can be recognized by other member states of the EU as stipulated by the Regulation Brussels. There are no particular requirements for a civil status in a divorce or a marriage annulment made by a foreign country, other than Croatia. We remind that foreign citizens living in Croatia can file for a divorce in respect with the legislation applicable in this country.

Legal aid for divorce procedure costs

According to the Free Legal Aid Act, individuals can apply for legal aid and fee exemptions for family-law proceedings, including a divorce. Persons who can qualify for this type of aid are mostly the ones who cannot afford the costs for such proceedings. Several documents showing their financial status should be sufficient at the time the application for legal aid is made. We remind that a legal support in this matter is mandatory and you should talk to our team of lawyers in Croatia.

Family matters and the divorce procedure in Croatia

The divorce procedure in Croatia implicates several important life aspects that must be attentively analyzed right from the start. Child custody is highly important, and the court of law will decide what’s best for minors involved in this situation. Child support, visiting hours, and deciding on different aspects that involve the minor enter the attention of both parents right from the start. Also, support for one of the spouses during the divorce process in Croatia can be discussed at the time the divorce is filled. These family aspects are also mentioned by the Family Law in Croatia, a set of legislation well-known by our Croatian lawyers.

Divorce in Croatia in numbers recently presented some facts and figures about marriage and divorce in the country:
  • More than 6,000 marital dissolutions were registered in Croatia in 2018.
  • The average marriage in Croatia rate is 14,9 years, according to the statistics presented.
  • The record divorce rate in Croatia was registered in 2016, with more than 7,000 separations.

FAQ about the divorce procedure in Croatia

1. How do I file for divorce in Croatia?
The divorce procedure is filled in the court of law, helped by a Croatian lawyer. A reconciliation procedure is offered in the first place, and if spouses cannot solve the marital disputes, the divorce process is commenced.
2. Can I appeal the divorce decision in Croatia?
Yes, a divorce verdict can be appealed in Croatia. You can discuss all the legal terms related to this kind of procedure with one of our lawyers in Croatia.
3. How is the asset distribution made in a divorce in Croatia?
Normally, both spouses must agree on the allocation of common properties. If this is not possible, the court of law dealing with the divorce procedures will intervene in this case.
4. Who receives child custody after a divorce in Croatia?
Minor children are protected by the Family Law in Croatia after a divorce procedure. Normally, parents have joint custody of minors, meaning that both spouses must act in the best interest of the children. The court of law will decide the domicile and visitation programme.
5. Is the divorce in Croatia acknowledged in another EU country?
The issuance of a European form can be requested by divorced spouses. This can be used in any EU country. Feel free to talk about divorce in Croatia with our specialists and find out more on this topic.
6. Do I need to come to Croatia for the divorce procedure?
There is no obligation for one of the spouses to be present in Croatia for the divorce process if they are legally represented. However, if spouses do not agree on the division of common assets or child custody, the case gets complex and the presence of spouses in Croatia is required.
7. How long does it take to get a divorce in Croatia?
A divorce procedure in Croatia might take between 6 months and 3 years, however, it might prolong if minors are involved and parents need to agree on child custody and support. Feel free to discuss all the legal aspects with our Croatian lawyers.
8. Is marriage annulment possible in Croatia?
Yes, if one of the spouses was minor at the time the marriage took place, the annulment is possible and required. Forced marriages can be canceled in Croatia.
9. What are the grounds for divorce in Croatia?
Infidelity, a damaged marriage, or separation of spouses for more than one year can stand at the base of filing a divorce in Croatia. Mental illness can also be a cause for a spouse to file for divorce in Croatia.
10. Are foreign judgments recognized in a divorce procedure in Croatia?
Yes, foreign judgments in a divorce procedure in Croatia are recognized. Yet, more details in this matter should be entirely discussed with one of our Croatian lawyers.

Choosing our divorce lawyers in Croatia

We have a dedicated team of lawyers with experience in divorce cases in Croatia. Our specialists can be hired for a wide range of legal services related to separation and divorce. It is important to note that each spouse can be represented by a lawyer in Croatia throughout the entire divorce procedure. Working with professionalism, efficiency and confidence is important for us when dealing with our customers because we want to provide the best possible results, no matter the presented case. A divorce in Croatia might get complex and time-consuming if spouses do not agree on separation, division of assets, and child custody, therefore, legal representation is highly recommended.
The divorce process can be very complicated. Just get in touch with our lawyers in Croatia and let them assist you with the legal issues of divorce in Croatia.