Reasons why marriage with Czech women or men fails28/11/17  |  From the media  |  Family law

The reasons for dissolving Czech marriages are very well known documented. For the most common reasons there is discrepancy of characters, different opinions and mutual estrangement. How it is with international marriages when one of the spouses is Czech? Are the problems the same or are there any other problems that cause the dissolution of marriage?  

Reasons for divorce with a Czech wife or husband

The reasons for divorce of the Czech marriages are quite well described by sociologists, psychologists or psychiatrists and from the experience of our attorney at law office, we can confirm the reasons are the same. The most common used reasons are “difference of character, different opinions and mutual alienation”. But behind these formal reasons stand usually infidelity, money issues, children and relatives. However, it is difficult to find out if the infidelity happened after the breakage of the relationship or before, it is then difficult for the court to decide, exemptions are the reasons such as alcoholism, laziness, violence, psychologist abuse that are quite easy to prove. 

How it is with international marriages? Are these reasons the same or are there any other factors? This article is not written by psychologist or sociologist, but only from the legal perspective as we are representing a lot of international spouses divorcing in the Czech Republic. This can help to find out if there is anything you can do to avoid the divorce or if there are troubles solve the troubles before having children.

Overall people all around the world are the same. Either Czech or British, they all have same character traits, however the history of our countries is different as well as our approach to different sexes, life, material and human values.

Most of the marriages, whose divorce I witnessed, began looking really promising, they even lasted longer than Czech marriages. A major turning point came with having kids. American, Canadian, Italian, Spaniard are charming, they travel a lot and they have no problem with settling in Czech Republic after finding out that living here is cheaper and more comfortable than in their countries. Although they earn more, they could never afford to buy a house there. After that comes moving to Czech Republic and then after some time kids and properties come as well. When does the breaking point of relationship come? There are a few common scenarios:

A husband foreigner cannot find a job that he dreamed of. English or other foreign languages courses are not well paid, working as a manager in international company is time consuming and without knowledge of Czech language he cannot find a job in the Czech companies.

A Czech wife doesn’t want to stay on maternity or parental leave forever, because her salary isn’t even that big to cover needs of the child, let alone hers. She starts to work part-time job and she starts to demand more engagement in taking care of a child from her husband foreigner.

A Czech wife and husband foreigner start to have different opinions about upbringing of the child. In the first place a conflict about cleaning is on the rise. The Czech wife demands that the child eats at the table, that the kid doesn’t dirty a new sofa with chocolate, that the kid tidies his toys and that the colourful clothes is not being washed with white ones. She can reprimand her child verbally as well as she can slap him over his hands or slap his ass a little bit. The husband foreigner doesn’t understand this behaviour, he thinks that it’s not maternal and that it’s rude. He even thinks that slapping child’s ass is physical abuse and sees verbal reprimand as mental abuse.

The Czech wife chose kindergarden, but her husband foreigner doesn’t agree with her so he suggests staying with child at home by himself, so that their child could have family care instead of informal state care. With that comes decrease of income and husband’s frustration. As a result, the wife is making money for the whole family.

In this moment the parents of the Czech are starting to interfere. Either they don’t like the fact that their daughter is the one who is working for the entire household or that their grandchildren attend school where they don’t get any marks or last but not least that their son-in-law is swallowing antidepressants on daily basis. On the other hand the parents of husband foreigner are far away, but despite that, there are plenty of ways to communicate with their son, such as Skype and hand in hand with that comes a lot of information e.g. about his former girlfriends from high school, who are divorced and who are so understanding, not like that Czech he lives with.

What about other conflicts which could end up being major? Misunderstanding of close relationship of Czech wife and her Czech ex boyfriend from the youth age. A Czech husband who doesn’t like to show his real income with his foreigner wife, who in the same time as a self-employed person shows higher costs instead of the real ones and who for purchasing all of the real estates and property has a loan agreement or gift agreement with his parents. A Czech husband who takes away a half of his foreigner wife’s maternity leave in order to even out contribution for a household, in Czech Republic is gender equality after all.

I’m not saying that all of those marriages must end up tragically, the married couple doesn’t even have to find itself in these situations and if so they can certainly handle it. What I’m trying to say is that before the marriage takes place and the children come you need to consider all the differences between you and your partner and if you will be able to admire those differences even in a crisis situation. If this cuteness of your husband walking in your apartment with his hiking boots on won’t start to bother you so much that after him walking on your carpet, that you bought after saving money for a whole month, with his shoes on will bring both of you to the court hall. If those cute children of your relatives, that never heard a wrong word from their parents, even when they spread a whole birthday cake around their house won’t scare you in your own house, when you will want to give your children an order and education. 

Cultural differences are certainly very interesting and enriching, however from practical point of view results that not everybody is capable of accepting them and managing them in crisis situations. Above are listed the most common general problems. 

These cases are illustrating the type of problems in which the married couple is living in the Czech Republic and their kids have the habitual residence here. In these cases the Czech courts are obligated to decide on children. Concerning divorce and law that apply to it, and it also relates to property settlement and alimony, these are the questions that are more difficult and they were contained in the previous article. If the relationship problems happen abroad, it’s not possible to rely on Czech court system, even if the husband or the wife is citizen of the Czech Republic. Everything is determined by the usual residence of the child and the last shared residence of the married couple. The common mistake is to think that citizenship will help or that the situation is different, because the child was born in the Czech Republic. 

The last chapter is foreigners who live in the Czech Republic, both husband and wife are foreigners, either from the same country or with different nationalities. They settle down here either because of the job or just because they feel good in Prague. In case of divorce, the Czech jurisdiction shall apply. I don’t have any generalization for this type of couples, but the common fact is that the reason behind their breakup is usually a Czech woman, who is different then foreigner women. Beware, however, of the consequences of these differences in the future, in particular if foreigner was used to something else. For example that before the Christmas holidays the appartment is not being cleaned…..and the windows are not being washed.

Eva Ondřejová, attorney at law

1. For this generalization Euro-Atlantic countries were used, other countries have different problems and this article might not be applicable. 

2. These problems are illustrative and are not similar to any case of the office. 

3.Each divorce is specific and there is not only one reason for break-up. Examples used in text shall not be considered as negative only.