Do you want to separate from your spouse? Your spouse does not pay the food contributions for your common children? You want to settle in Belgium with your spouse, but the Registrar refuses to recognize your marriage certificate celebrated abroad?
There are two types of divorce proceedings in Belgium:
Divorce for irremediable disunity
Divorce for irremediable disunity can be requested by one spouse or both. If one of the spouses does not agree to divorce, the petition for divorce will be introduced unilaterally by the other spouse. It can also be requested jointly by both spouses when both agree to divorce but they can not agree on the terms of their divorce.
The Civil Code defines “irreparable disunity” as that which “renders the continuation of the common life and the recovery of it between the spouses reasonably unreasonable”. The “irremediable” nature of the disunity is left to the discretion of the judge.
In practice, the “irreparable disunity” will most often be acquired by the lapse of a period of one year (in case of disagreement) or six months (in case of agreement of the spouses to divorce) separation The separation in fact proves by producing certificates of residence showing that the spouses have not lived together since that date.
Divorce by mutual consent
Divorce by mutual consent is a kind of contract between the two spouses whereby they agree on all the consequences of their divorce.
Unlike divorce for irremediable disunity, divorce by mutual consent necessarily implies that both spouses agree on ALL and not just divorce.
The spouses must therefore agree on the division of their movable and immovable property, the financial arrangements between them (food relief, alimony after divorce) and their children (food contribution), the arrangements for housing common children, etc.
Both types of divorce (for irremediable disunity or mutual consent) require a judicial procedure, the dissolution of the marriage (the divorce) being always pronounced by the judge.
Would you like to get more information or possibly ask a question about your situation? Feel free to contact me.