9 Which is the competent authority to turn to in cases of disputes and other legal issues?

The international jurisdiction of Czech courts in divorce proceedings (and also in proceedings to declare the marriage void and to determine whether a marriage exists or not) is given if at least one of the spouses is a national of the Czech Republic, or if the defendant has his/her habitual residence in the Czech Republic.

If both spouses are foreign nationals and the defendant does not have his/her habitual residence in the Czech Republic or in another Member State of the European Union, and he/she is not a national of a Member State of the European Union or is not domiciled in the United Kingdom or Ireland either, Czech courts have jurisdiction if

  • both spouses had their habitual residence in the Czech Republic and the petitioner still has his/her habitual residence in the Czech Republic;
  • the petitioner has his/her habitual residence in the Czech Republic and the second spouse joined the action, or
  • the petitioner has his/her habitual residence in the Czech Republic and has had this habitual residence for at least one year before filing the action. (Section 47 of the Act on Private International Law)

The competence to decide on the rights to real estate that is located in the Czech Republic belongs exclusively to the Czech courts or other competent Czech public authorities (Section 68 of the Act on Private International Law). The power of the courts to hear the succession proceedings is given if, at the time of his/her death, the testator had his/her habitual residence in the Czech Republic (Section 74 of the Act on Private International Law).

As far as the matrimonial property proceedings (including the division of the spouses’ joint property after divorce) are concerned, the competent authority is the district court in whose district the spouses have or had their last residence in the Czech Republic, if at least one of the spouses still lives in the district of this court. If there is no such court, the competent authority is the court of general jurisdiction (i.e. the court in the place of residence) of the spouse who did not file the motion to commence the proceedings. If there is no such court either, the competent authority is the court of general jurisdiction of the spouse who filed the petition to initiate proceedings (Sections 373 and 383 of Act No. 292/2013 Coll. on Special Judicial Proceedings). In cases where there is no connection with divorce proceedings, the competent authority is:

  • the district court of the residence of the defendant, or
  • if real estate property is concerned, the district court in whose district the property is situated, or
  • if the division is effected in connection with succession proceedings, the district court in whose district the succession proceedings are held (Section 88 of the Civil Procedure Code).