Lawyer, civil rights specialist and business consultant Gvantsa Zhorzholiani spoke in air of the  radio Commersant about the rights of the spouses in divorce  and  property division.

According to Zhorzholiani, in case of divorce we have two options. First, when both spouses  reach an agreement, and second, when only one side agrees.

“Marriage is the voluntary union of a man and a woman with the goal of creating a family. This is an expression of free will. Therefore, just as a man and a woman must enter into marriage of their own free will, divorce must also be an expression of free will.

In  case of divorce, we have two options - in the case of a divorce by mutual consent, the spouse goes to the House of Justice, files a divorce petition to the Civil Service Development Agency and provides only a marriage certificate. But what happens if one spouse does not agree to the divorce? In this case, the legal issue of divorce is decided only by the court.”

The lawyer notes if a person wants to get a divorce by starting a court case, he or she needs to go to the court at the location of the defendant.

one wants to get a divorce by starting a court case, he or she should file an application at the location of a spouse. If I am in Tbilisi, my husband is in Batumi, and I want to file a divorce petition in court, I must file it in the Batumi District Court. (according to the Civil Code, it is necessary to go to court at the location of the defendant).

What happens if one spouse is in Georgia and the other abroad. This time we have two options: first when we know his location and second when we don't know his whereabouts.

If we know his location, we send the second part of the claim, that is, the second copy, to his location (address abroad) and he will be able to participate in the trial remotely.

If his location is unknown, we will indicate in the claim the last known address. After this, it is the prerogative of the court to find out the person’s exact location.

If I don't know whether he is in Georgia or abroad, I apply the same procedure. In the claim we indicate information about the last known location."

In Gvantsa Zhorzholiani’s words, a divorce can be done in proxy, and if you go to court, there are no specific deadlines for completing the divorce.

“At any moment, if one can't or can but avoids as there are cases when the process is going on against the backdrop of a conflict and the spouses do not want to communicate with each other, in this case they may have a lawyer, a trusted person.

Or if a person is abroad and needs to have a legal representative in court, an enduring power of attorney may now be witnessed using electronic means, such as Skype. (Any citizen of Georgia has the right to make a remote notarial recording. Notaries call this power of attorney via Skype.) In this case, he needs a proxy and two witnesses. One who will be the signatory, and another who will confirm a person's identity.

If you go to court, there are no specific deadlines for filing a divorce. This depends on the court to which the plaintiff applies. It depends on the number of pending cases.”

Gvantsa Zhorzholiani also spoke about cases when a husband and wife are both abroad or one marry a foreigner and wants to get a divorce.

“When a husband and wife are citizens of Georgia and are both abroad, in this case there are two ways. They can contact the consular department, but it’s easier for both of them to notarize a power of attorney to a lawyer or a representative who will go to the Service Development Agency (House of Justice) and file a divorce petition.

If you marry a foreign citizen and want to get a divorce, the marriage must be registered in Georgia. The rest of the process is the same as in the case of citizens of Georgia.

It’s worth mentioning that if a woman is pregnant or has a child under three years  (a minor), in this case the father does not have the right to initiate divorce proceedings himself. There must either be the woman’s consent, or the man must wait until the child is 3 years old.”

The lawyer and civil rights specialist also spoke about the division of property after divorce.

In case of property disputes, we know that half of the property goes to one spouse and the other half to the other spouse; this refers to property acquired in joint ownership (that is, acquired during  the course of a marriage).

In what case property cannot be divided equally? - This does not apply to real estate purchased before marriage; does not apply to property received by inheritance or as a gift; This also does not apply to personal items (except jewelry) and items necessary for professional activities.

Apart from the abovementioned, if property acquired during  the course of a marriage, then it is joint property and is divided equally.

Debts are devided just as well as property. Partition refers to joint debts (debts incurred together while living together). A debt taken out in the name of one of the spouses can be divided if it is proven that the debt was accepted by the spouse in the interests of the family.

It is necessary to remember about the limitation period set in case of division of property, namely 3 years from the date of divorce.”

It is worth noting the fact that we are talking about those cases and processes when there is a registered civil marriage with a marriage certificate.