- How can I get a divorce in Romania?
The legal grounds for divorce in Romania are:
- by mutual agreement of the spouses
- when, due to serious reasons, the relationship between the spouses is seriously damaged and continuation of the marriage is no longer possible
- upon demand of one spouse, after a separation of at least 2 years
- upon demand of one spouse, fore serious health reasons
- What type of divorce procedure should you choose?
Spouses can choose between:
- juridical procedure – It can be used if the spouses by mutual consent or if one of them files a claim for divorce in court by himself. The competent court is the one from the last family residence, where at least one spouse is still living. It is important to know that the judge cannot rule in favor of divorce if one of the spouses has a medical situation that affects his judgement and he cannot express a valid consent. This procedure can be chosen regardless of the marriage duration and whether or not the spouses have underage children from their marriage.
- administrative procedure – If the spouses agree to divorce and they don’t have underage children either born or adopted before or during their marriage, the civil officer where the marriage took place or where they have the last common residence can settle the divorce. According to Romanian law, the civil officer sets a 30 days „thinking period” so that the spouses can reflect upon their decision, and only after that period express can the spouses take their final decision to dissolute the marriage. The parties then receive the divorce certificate from the civil officer, after he declares the dissolution of marriage.
- notarial procedure – It is similar to the administrative procedure. The main difference is that spouses can choose this procedure even if they have underage children, but only if they agree upon all aspects regarding: the spouses’ names after the divorce, the exercise of parental authority by both parents, the children’s residence, ways to maintain the relationship between parents and children, and the parents’ contribution to the expenses needed to raise and educate the children. The period of 30 „thinking days” also applies to this procedure. The public notary will reject the application and will guide the spouses to fill their divorce application to the Court if they fail to reach an agreement on all the above.
- Are there any specific rules for foreigners?
There are no specific rules for foreigners on this matter. The Romanian divorce law applies even if one of the spouses is an expat.
- How long does it take to get a divorce in Romania?
This depends on the chosen procedure and may vary between 60 days in the case of administrative procedure and up to 3 months if you choose the notarial procedure. As regards the judicial procedure, its duration depends on factors such as the grounds for divorce and whether one party is at fault or not.
- Can I keep my married name after the divorce?
The spouses can reach an agreement to keep their married name after the divorce. However, for well-documented reasons justified by the interest of one of the spouses or the best interests of the child, the court may consent to the spouses keeping their married name, even in the absence of an agreement between spouses. If no agreement has been reached or the court has not given consent, each of the former spouses shall revert to their name before marriage.
6.. Can I obtain compensation from my ex-husband ?
In case of divorce by fault of one spouse, the one who is not at fault can ask for compensation if they suffered an injury caused by circumstances related to divorce itself.
In additional to the above, the spouse can also receive compensation for significant financial imbalance following the divorce procedure. Such compensation is granted only if the marriage lasted for at least 20 years. The husband who is already receiving maintenance allowance cannot receive a compensatory benefit, as well.
- How can I receive alimony after divorce?
The divorced spouse is entitled to alimony if he is in great financial need due to work incapacity, which existed also before marriage or during marriage. He is entitled to alimony also when the incapacity occurs within one year of marriage, but only if the incapacity is caused by circumstances related to marriage itself.
Alimony shall be set at 1/4 net income of the person liable for payment in relation to his means and the state of need and income of the other spouse. The spouse’s alimony, together with child maintenance, may not exceed half of the divorced husband’s net income.
8.How are assets divided in the case of divorce?
At divorce, the regime of matrimonial property is terminated from the date when the application for divorce is filed. It can also be terminated from the date of separation between spouses, upon request their request.
Property can be divided either by mutual agreement of the spouses or by a court decision. The basis of asset division can be either a court decision or a document concluded in authentic notarial form. If spouses do not agree upon the division of assets, they may file an application for division of property after the dissolution of the marriage. This can also be filed throughout the divorce proceeding or at any time thereafter.
9.What is an equalization payment and who can receive it?
Following the distribution of assets, the spouse who receive goods of a less value can receive money compensation. Also, the spouse who has no fault in the divorce and who suffers a prejudice due to marriage termination may money claim compensation from the other spouse.
- How can a lawyer help me in the divorce procedure?
A good lawyer can first show you what rights and obligations you have in the divorce procedure. Then, if you agree to follow through, they can offer assistance at the notary for consensual divorce or represent you in court, if there is a trial for divorce itself or separation of the assets, following the divorce.
Ruxandra Visoiu – Managing Partner