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Initiation of divorce proceedings, division of marital property and regulation of other relations

In this article we explain the procedures referring to a divorce and marriage termination as well as a term marital property. 

Socio-economic conditions in the world, the same as in Bosnia and Herzegovina lead to an increasing number of dissolved marriages. In our country there is also a substantial increase of dissolution of marriages. Official records of the Agency for Statistics show that 2385 marriages were dissolved in 2018 which represents an increase of more than 20% compared to 2017.  

1. Divorce process: divorce by mutual consent and suit for dissolution of marriage 

Basic regulation governing the divorce process is the Family Law of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
If both marriage partners agree to the divorce, they shall apply for a divorce by mutual consent. However, if one spouse wishes to divorce, he/she shall file a suit for dissolution of the marriage in competent court with the assistance and engagement of a divorce lawyer.
What actions should be taken before judicial proceeding depends on the fact whether the spouses have minor children or not. Beside the decision on marriage dissolution, the court also brings the decisions on a child’s place of residence, the right to parental custody and personal relations between parents and the child. Accordingly, the Law laid down clear rules in cases when parents have minor children.  

Therefore, if marriage partners have children and exercise parental custody over them as well as during wife’s pregnancy, they shall be obliged to request mediation from a physical or legal person authorised to mediate before starting the divorce proceeding.  

2. Alimony. Who requests it and in what amount? 

Alimony is a liability of a financial kind relating to child support by a parent who does not live with the child.  Although child support may be requested by a special lawsuit, the court usually gives its decision on child support in form of a judgement by which either marriage is dissolved or a paternity is determined. Child support is always determined in monetary amount. 

When deciding on the amount of alimony, the Court is always guided by the interests of a child and the child should always be put first. It shall have child’s age, residential purposes, needs of clothing, food and education, medical conditions and other circumstances that the amount necessary for the support depends on.  

3. What is marital property?

By ‘marital property’ we mean any property the marriage partners acquired through their work during their marital community as well as any other income from assets (Art. 254 of the FBiH Family Law). 

Marital property also includes third-party gifts given during the marriage (in a form of money, goods or assistance, etc.), no matter which partner received them unless otherwise required by a gift purpose or otherwise could be concluded from the circumstances at the time of giving if only one spouse was gifted. Any gambling winnings will also be marital property. 

By ‘marital property’ we mean any property the marriage partners acquired through their work during their marital community as well as any other income from assets

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