Post-Austrian Divorce Law in Małopolska from 1918 to 1945. Selected Issues

Zdzisław Zarzycki

Abstrakt

Austrian divorce law was in force in the territory of the former region of Galicia until the end of 1945. The possibility of seeking a civil divorce was determined by the internal law of the church that the betrothed couple belonged to on the wedding day. Thus, divorce was outlawed both for people of the Roman Catholic confession (§ 111(1) ABGB) and for married couples where even one of the spouses confessed the Roman Catholic religion at the time of their wedding to a non-Catholic Christian (§ 111(2) ABGB). Not even a religious conversion on the part of the Catholic after the date of the wedding could create the possibility for the couple to obtain a divorce. In practice, Catholic residents of Małopolska resorted to ‘divorce migration’ to more lenient legal jurisdictions. In any case, a divorce dispute was adjudicated before common courts according to state procedural rules. Divorce proceedings could be initiated in two ways, i.e. by unilateral request of one of the spouses, or by joint request of both spouses. Divorce in Jewish marriage was subject to certain legal differences, and could also be initiated in two ways, i.e. by the voluntary, uncontested request of both spouses (§§ 133-134 ABGB) or by way of a divorce application filed by the husband (§ 135(1) ABGB). In both cases, the procedures were aimed at terminating the marriage by the husband’s presenting the wife with a so-called bill of divorce. Different civil proceedings regulated divorce disputes in Krakow in the period described (1918-1945), i.e. the Austrian proceedings until the end of 1932 and the Polish proceedings of 1930 thereafter.

Słowa kluczowe: marriage, marriage law, Austrian marriage law, divorce, divorce law, Austrian divorce law, grounds for divorce, divorce proceedings, divorce law in Galicia, divorce law in the General Government (General Governorate)

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