1. Marriage and Its Formation Marriage is present in the culture of nearly every nation, and while the various forms of marriage have changed throughout history, the institution of marriage itself has always endured. According to Slovak legal regulations, both civil and religious forms of marriage are possible, with equal status since July 1, 1992, respecting each other mutually.
Marriage is solemnized by the mutual declaration of the engaged couple before the municipal authority or city district office keeping the register or before the authority of a registered church or religious community. The engaged couple publicly declares, in the presence of two witnesses, that they are entering into marriage.
The declaration of marriage is made by the engaged couple at the registry office designated for the district where one of them has permanent residence, before the mayor or city mayor, or an authorized member of the municipal or city council in the presence of the registrar.
Before entering into marriage, the engaged couple is required to submit the documents specified by law.
Marriage cannot be contracted with a married man or a married woman; in such a case, the court, even without a petition, decides that the marriage is invalid.
Marriage cannot be contracted between ancestors and descendants and between siblings; the same applies to relationships established by adoption. In such cases, the court, even without a petition, decides that the marriage is invalid.
A minor cannot enter into marriage. The court, in line with the purpose of marriage, may exceptionally allow the marriage of a minor older than 16. Without the court’s permission, the marriage is invalid. In such a case, the court, even without a petition, decides that the marriage is invalid.
- Rights and Obligations Between Spouses Spouses are equal in rights and obligations within marriage. They are obliged to live together, be faithful, mutually respect their dignity, help each other, care for children together, and create a healthy family environment.
Both spouses are obliged to take care of the needs of the family formed by marriage according to their abilities, possibilities, and property relations. Meeting the needs of the family also includes personal care for children and household duties.
Regarding family matters, spouses decide jointly. If they cannot agree on significant matters, the court decides upon the petition of either of them.
No consent from the other spouse is required for the exercise of a profession and employment.
Each spouse is entitled to represent the other in ordinary matters, especially to accept routine fulfillments on their behalf. The actions of one spouse in the acquisition of routine family matters bind both spouses jointly and indivisibly.
The provisions of this section do not apply if the other spouse explicitly excludes these effects against another person, and if this was known to that person.
Ownership can be shared or undivided. Undivided ownership can only arise between spouses. In undivided ownership of spouses, everything that can be the subject of ownership and that one of the spouses acquired during the marriage, except for things acquired by inheritance or gift, as well as things that, according to their nature, serve the personal needs or the exercise of the profession of only one of the spouses, and things issued under the regulations on the restitution of property to one of the spouses who had the thing issued in ownership before the marriage or to whom the thing was issued as the legal successor of the original owner.
- Termination of Marriage Marriage is terminated by death or by declaring one of the spouses dead. If one of the spouses has been declared dead, the marriage ends on the day when the decision to declare them dead becomes legally effective.
If the decision on declaring one of the spouses dead is annulled, the terminated marriage will not be restored if the spouse declared dead entered into a new marriage in the meantime.
Divorce can only be initiated in justified cases.
The court may divorce the marriage at the request of one of the spouses if the relationship between them is so seriously disrupted and permanently disintegrated that the marriage cannot fulfill its purpose, and the restoration of marital cohabitation cannot be expected from the spouses.
The court determines the reasons that led to a serious breakdown of the relationship between the spouses and takes them into account when deciding on the divorce. The court always considers the interests of minor children when deciding on a divorce.
- What to Expect for Citizens A Slovak citizen submits the following documents to the relevant registry office at least seven days before entering into marriage:
a) birth certificate, b) proof of citizenship, c) confirmation of residence, d) death certificate of the deceased spouse, or marriage certificate if the marriage has ended, in case of a widower or widow, or a valid divorce judgment if divorced, or a valid judgment declaring the marriage invalid, e) ID card, f) document proving identity.
In addition to the documents mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, a man and a woman who want to enter into marriage together fill out the prescribed form before entering into marriage. In justified cases, only one of them may do so. If the marriage is concluded before the church authority, the registry office confirms the completed form, which the engaged couple delivers to the relevant church authority.
A foreigner must submit the following documents to the registry office at least 14 days before entering into marriage in the Slovak Republic:
a) birth certificate, b) proof of marital status, c) proof of residence, d) proof of citizenship, e) death certificate of the deceased spouse or other public document confirming that the marriage has ended, in the case of a widowed foreigner, f) a valid divorce judgment or another public document confirming that the marriage is legally divorced, in the case of a divorced foreigner, g) document proving identity.
- Sanctions for Non-compliance Marriage can be declared invalid under certain circumstances.
- Where Citizens Can Seek Help If a citizen needs assistance in family law matters, they can turn to the Slovak Bar Association.
Explanatory laws: Law No. 36/2005 Coll. on Family, Law No. 97/1963 Coll. on International Private and Procedural Law, as amended, Law No. 154/1994 Coll. on Registers, as amended.