The Guide to the Divorce Procedure in Malta April 2024 πŸ“–

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In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of divorce procedures in Malta and shed light on the significant role of divorce lawyers in ensuring a smooth and successful marriage dissolution.

Whether you are a Maltese citizen or a foreign resident seeking to end your marriage, experienced divorce lawyers can be found in Malta to offer tailored solutions and assist you throughout the process.

Divorce Lawyers in Malta

πŸ“— Frequently Asked Questions About the Divorce Procedure in Malta

What are the grounds for divorce in Malta?

Malta allows couples to file for divorce on four grounds, namely adultery, continued separation, unreasonable behaviour and irretrievable breakdown of marriage. Adultery is a common reason cited by the petitioner when one spouse has cheated on the other.

How long does the divorce procedure take in Malta?

The length of time it takes to complete a divorce procedure in Malta can vary depending on several factors. The most significant factor is whether the divorce is contested or uncontested.

How much does it cost to get divorced in Malta?

One of the main factors in relation to cost, is whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce, where both parties agree to the terms of the divorce, will generally be less expensive than a contested one.

What are the consequences of divorce in Malta?

Divorce can have significant consequences, both emotionally and financially. In Malta, the consequences of divorce are governed by the Civil Code. The most apparent impact of divorce in Malta is that it dissolves the marriage bond between spouses.

Can I remarry after getting divorced in Malta?

In Malta, it is possible to remarry after getting divorced. However, there are some legal requirements that need to be met before you can do so.

πŸ“— Understanding Divorce in Malta

Divorce Lawyers

Malta introduced divorce legislation in October 2011, expanding the options for ending marriages beyond legal separation.

Prior to this amendment, divorce was not recognized, and legal separation was the only acknowledged form of marriage dissolution under the Maltese Civil Code.

Nowadays, divorce in Malta can be obtained through various legal procedures, including annulment and amicable or contested divorce.

πŸ“— The Conditions for Divorce in Malta

To obtain a divorce in Malta, certain conditions must be met.

The court will grant a divorce if the following requirements are fulfilled:

  • The couple has lived separately for a period of at least four years, or at least four years have passed since the legal separation.
  • Reconciliation between the spouses is not possible.
  • The spouse and children will benefit from support as per article 66B in the Civil Code.
  • At least one of the spouses had residence in Malta when filing the divorce law Malta application.

πŸ“— The Role of Divorce Lawyers in Malta

Divorce Lawyer

Navigating the complexities of divorce proceedings requires expert legal guidance, divorce lawyers must possess extensive knowledge and experience in the field of Civil Law.

A divorce lawyer must be equipped to provide comprehensive assistance to individuals seeking to dissolve their marriages using the available legal procedures.

πŸ“— The Main Ways of Ending a Marriage in Malta

πŸ“˜ Divorce

Divorce, recognized by a Maltese court, is an increasingly popular method of ending a marriage in Malta. The relatively straightforward procedures and minimal documentation requirements make divorce easily obtainable. Unlike other European countries, divorce in Malta can only be finalized through court proceedings.

πŸ“˜ Annulment

An alternative to divorce, annulment declares a marriage as though it never took place. The court issues an order annulling the marriage, usually based on specific grounds. These grounds may include lack of respect for the law, marriage by coercion, fraudulent intentions, lack of judgment, or non-consummation of the marriage.

πŸ“˜ Separation

Separation, though not a mandatory prerequisite for divorce under the new legislation, is still recognized by Maltese courts. It involves one or both parties deciding to live separately without automatically terminating the marriage. Separation can serve as grounds for divorce, but it does not grant the right to remarry during the procedure.

πŸ“— Legal Separation under Maltese Legislation

Legal separation, while not obligatory for divorce proceedings, holds significance under Maltese law.

It is a recognized ground for divorce and enables spouses to live separately without dissolving the marriage.

It is important to note that legal separation does not automatically lead to the termination of the marriage.

The decision to separate does not necessarily require the consent of both parties.

πŸ“— Initiating a Divorce in Malta

Article 66D of the Maltese Civil Code states that it is not mandatory to provide proof of wrongdoing when applying for divorce law Malta.

If spouses have not been legally separated through contract or judgment, they can invoke the same grounds as in a legal separation.

Divorce proceedings can also be initiated during legal separation if one of the spouses files an application in accordance with Article 66F.

The divorce procedure can only proceed after attempts at reconciliation by the spouses’ Maltese lawyers and the court, as stipulated in Article 66I.

πŸ“— The Divorce Procedure in Malta

When initiating divorce procedures in Malta, several key aspects must be considered.

The spouses must reach an agreement on the following matters in the presence of a mediator appointed by the Minister:

  • Child custody and care: Determining arrangements for the well-being and custody of any children involved.
  • Visitation rights: Establishing visitation schedules and parental access to children.
  • Spouse and children support: Ensuring equitable maintenance for both the spouse and children, as per Article 66B in the Civil Code.
  • Matrimonial domicile: Deciding who will continue to reside in the marital home.
  • Division of common property: Addressing the fair distribution of assets acquired during the marriage.

Once an agreement has been reached on these aspects, the divorce procedure can proceed accordingly.

πŸ“— Divorce Procedure in Case of Legal Separation in Malta

If the couple is already legally separated, the spouse initiating the divorce request only needs to include a legal copy of the separation contract or judgment with the divorce application.

The spouse who does not desire the divorce has the right to contest the request if the term for legal separation has not yet passed or if the requesting spouse has not fulfilled their financial obligations.

πŸ“— Documents Required for Divorce in Malta

To initiate the divorce process in Malta, an application form drafted by a Maltese lawyer must be filed with the competent civil court.

Additional documents may need to be submitted depending on the grounds for divorce and whether it is amicable or contested.

The required documents typically include:

  • Personal identification documents of the spouses.
  • Documentation proving separation, such as a court order or separation agreement.
  • Information regarding any children involved.
  • Information concerning the division of assets.

In the case of a contested divorce, each party must designate a divorce lawyer in Malta to represent them and present the necessary evidence to support their case.

If a prenuptial agreement exists, the court will take it into consideration when dividing assets.

πŸ“— Maintenance After Divorce in Malta

Divorce Lawyers in Malta

Following divorce in Malta, parents retain their rights and obligations towards their children.

Article 66L permits parties to remarry after the dissolution of the marriage, but maintenance obligations cease for the party getting remarried.

Children are entitled to receive maintenance until the age of 23 if they are enrolled in a full-time education program.

πŸ“— Consequences of Divorce in Malta

Both separation and divorce carry specific consequences for the spouses involved.

These consequences are documented and vary based on individual circumstances.

They may include:

  • Rights and obligations of the spouses towards one another and their children.
  • Prioritizing the needs of the children, including child custody arrangements.
  • Conditions for supporting one spouse by the other.
  • Division of assets acquired jointly during the marriage.
  • Accommodation arrangements for the spouse retaining custody of the children.
  • Other provisions agreed upon by the spouses or determined by the court.

It is important to note that Maltese courts also recognize and enforce foreign judgments related to divorce cases if an agreement exists between Malta and the country where the divorce was granted.

πŸ“— Divorce Statistics in Malta

Divorce Lawyer in Malta

Since the amendment of the Civil Code, divorce rates in Malta have increased, although they remain relatively low compared to other EU countries.

In 2016, the divorce rate in Malta stood at 12.2% per 100 marriages, which is one of the lowest rates in the EU. In 2017, it further decreased to 0.7% per 1,000 inhabitants.

These statistics reflect the evolving nature of divorce in Malta and the growing acceptance of this legal procedure.

πŸ“— Foreign Citizens in Divorce Proceedings

Malta is home to a significant number of foreign citizens, many of whom have resided in the country for years and have abided by Maltese laws.

However, in certain civil matters, including divorce, Maltese law may not always apply. In the case of foreign citizens seeking divorce in Malta, the court will hear the case if at least one of the spouses had a domicile in Malta at the time the divorce petition was filed or if at least one of the spouses was a resident of Malta for a minimum of one year before filing the petition.

Foreign citizens who obtain a divorce in Malta can have their judgments recognized by their home countries.

This also applies to Maltese citizens who have obtained divorce decrees in other countries and seek enforcement in Malta.

As Malta is a member of the European Union, various directives facilitate the recognition of court decisions within the country.

πŸ“— Conclusion

Divorce in Malta involves a comprehensive legal process that requires careful consideration and expert guidance.

By understanding the steps involved, seeking professional advice from experienced divorce lawyers, and exploring alternative dispute resolution methods, you can navigate the complexities of divorce while safeguarding your rights and ensuring a fair outcome.

Remember, divorce is a significant life transition, and having the right support can make all the difference.

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Last Updated on 2 April, 2024

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David Bezzina
Independent Content Creator & Editor

David loves writing, talking about and jornaling every law aspect he can come across, with a strong passsion for Maltese Law.