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The basis for a divorce decree by a Polish court is art. 3 clause 1 letter b) of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 regarding jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and in matters of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000, pursuant to which “In matters of divorce, separation or annulment of marriage, the courts of the Member State of which both spouses are nationals have jurisdiction.”

Therefore, if both spouses have Polish citizenship, the Polish court will be competent. Divorce cases are always heard by the District Court. There are several of them in Poland. Question to which to submit a lawsuit when the spouses have never lived in Poland?

In the light of art. 41 of the Code of Civil Procedure in Poland: “An action arising out of a marriage relationship shall only be brought before the court in whose district the spouses had their last place of residence, if at least one of them in that district is still domiciled or habitually resident. In the absence of such a basis, only the court of the defendant’s domicile is competent, and if there is no such ground, the court of the plaintiff’s place of residence.”

It follows from the provision that when the parties never lived together in Poland, e.g. they met in England, where they got married and lived abroad throughout the marriage, then the court of the defendant’s domicile is competent. However, if the defendant does not live in Poland, the court of the plaintiff’s place of residence has jurisdiction. Provided, however, that the plaintiff lives in Poland.

Should the claimant be registered in Poland to meet the criterion of “residence” in Poland? No. Just being in this place is enough.

If, however, the court recognizes that the plaintiff only “pretends” that he lives in Poland, and thus finds that pursuant to the provisions of the Code it is not possible to determine local jurisdiction in the light of the circumstances of the case, the case will still be resolved in Poland, with the difference, that the District Court filed for divorce will apply to the Supreme Court to designate the District Court as the court before which an action should be brought pursuant to art. 45 § 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure in Poland.

To speed up the procedure, before filing a divorce petition, you can first apply to the Supreme Court in Poland to designate a particular District Court as competent to hear your case. In such a conclusion, it is worth pointing out the circumstances that support entrusting a divorce case to a given District Court, among others purposeful reasons (the parties have been together in a given place many times, all or most of the witnesses have their place of residence in the area, the place is known to the parties, etc.).

KSJ Legal Law Firm successfully conducts family law cases, including divorce and legal separation, also when one of the spouses or two is abroad. We advise at every stage of the proceedings, from the preparation of a legal opinion to obtaining a final decision before the court of second instance.

We encourage you to visit our blog specialized in Divorce Law:


Tel. 668-841-990

Advocate – Wrocław – Lawyer