1. How can we divorce in Lithuania and where?

In Lithuania, a marriage can be dissolved in the following ways:

  1. by mutual consent of both spouses;
  2. at the request of one spouse;
  3. through the fault of the spouse (s).

In all the above cases, the marriage is dissolved by a court decision. Applications for divorce are heard by the district courts depending on the defendant’s place of residence. The decision of the district court can be appealed and appealed in cassation.

2. What are the most common reasons that spouses may invoke when divorcing?

The spouses may request a divorce through the fault of the other spouse, stating the following reasons:

  1. the spouse has materially violated his or her duties as a spouse and as a result cohabitation has become impossible, ie the spouse has not been loyal, has not respected the other spouse, has not supported each other morally and materially, has not contributed to the common needs of the family or the other spouse;
  2. the spouse is convicted of an intentional crime or is unfaithful;
  3. the spouse treated another spouse or family members abusively;
  4. the spouse left the family and for more than one year did not care for it at all.

3. How long does it take to divorce in Lithuania?

The duration of the divorce depends on the procedural behavior of the divorcing spouses. If the spouses divorce by mutual consent, it can take about three months, but if the divorce is due to the other spouse’s fault, the divorce process can take up to three years.

4. What types of evidence can be used when divorcing in Lithuania?

In the divorce proceedings, all the evidence provided in the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania is allowed, i.e.:

  1. statements of the the spouses;
  2. testimony of witnesses;
  3. documents;
  4. video and audio recordings which comply with the principles of admissibility of evidence and admissibility of evidence in the present case;
  5. minutes of the facts established by the bailiff;
  6. expert conclusions;
  7. the opinion of the child heard in court;
  8. conclusion of a specialist of the State Service for the Protection of the Rights of the Child and Adoption.

5. What other family life aspects are settled once with the divorce?

Upon divorce, the court must decide on the place of residence and maintenance of the minor children of the spouses, as well as on the maintenance of one spouse and the division of their joint property, unless the property is divided by a notarial agreement approved by the spouses.

6. Is my presence necessary in Lithuania when divorcing?

The personal participation of the spouses in the divorce proceedings may be necessary if the court finds their participation in the court proceedings necessary. In all other cases the spouses may file for divorce through their chosen representatives (attorney at law).

7. What kind of temporary measures concerning children can be ordered during divorce proceedings?

The court may grant the following interim measures:

  1. to oblige one spouse to live separately;
  2. to determine the place of residence of minor children with one of the parents;
  3. to oblige one spouse not to prevent the other spouse from using certain property;
  4. order temporary maintenance from one spouse for minor children or the other spouse;
  5. seize property until the issue of his or her ownership of one spouse has been resolved, also in order to secure the payment of maintenance;
  6.  seize the property of one spouse, the value of which would ensure the reimbursement of court costs to the other spouse;
  7.  prohibit one spouse from seeing minor children or visiting certain places;
  8.  other measures deemed necessary by the court.

8. How can a parent living abroad keep in touch with his child?

One of the parents residing abroad may communicate with his or her minor children by any means of electronic communication, including arrival at the child’s place of residence at the agreed time. If the spouses do not agree on the order in which the minor children will interact with one of the parents living abroad after the divorce, such a procedure shall be established by a court decision.

9. In case a parent lives in another European State, is that an obstacle for joint custody?

In Lithuania, there is no joint custody of minor children, i.e. upon divorce, the court must determine the place of residence of the minor children with one of the parents, and order support from the other and establish the procedure for communication/interaction with the minor children. If one of the parents living in another European country proves that his/her and the child’s life in another European country is in the better interests of the child and that the minor’s communication with the other parent (left in Lithuania) is ensured, the court may decide to determine the child’s place of residence with a parent living in another European country.

10. How can a divorce resolution issued in Lithuania be acknowledged in another European State?

Once the judgment on divorce is final, the parties may request the issuance of a European form that can be used in the majority of EU States.