Hungarian Marriage And Divorce Laws

: Japanese Fairy Tales

In Hungary proper and Transylvania, together with Fiume and certain parts

of the Military Boundary, the marriage law of 1894, supplemented by the

Civil Registration Act of the same year, is in operation for all citizens,

without regard to religious sect.

In Croatia and Slavonia, which, although legally parts of the Kingdom of

Hungary, are autonomous in domestic affairs; three separate systems of

egulation are in force governing, respectively, the Catholics,

the Oriental Greeks, and the Protestants and Jews.

HUNGARY PROPER AND TRANSYLVANIA.--Civil marriage is the only form

recognized by law.

MARRIAGE QUALIFICATIONS.--A man cannot marry before the conclusion of his

eighteenth year; a woman, before the conclusion of her sixteenth year. A

minor cannot conclude a marriage without the consent of his or her legal


IMPEDIMENTS.--1. Marriage is forbidden between ascendants and descendants.

2. Between brother and sister.

3. Between brother or sister and offspring of brother or sister.

4. Marriage between a person who has been previously married and a blood

relative in direct line of that person's former consort is forbidden.

5. First cousins may not conclude marriage, except on dispensation from

the Minister of Justice.

6. No person may conclude a marriage with any one who has been legally

sentenced for a murder or a murderous assault committed on the former's

consort, even if the sentence has not yet entered into effect.

7. No one may conclude a marriage without the consent of his

ecclesiastical superiors if he has taken ecclesiastical orders or vows

which, according to the law of the church to which he belongs, prevent his


8. So long as the guardianship continues, marriage is prohibited between a

guardian or his offspring and the ward.

PRELIMINARIES.--Before a marriage can be lawfully celebrated it must be

preceded by the publication of banns. This publication must be made in the

commune or communes where the parties ordinarily reside. Publication is

made by posting an official notice for fourteen days in the office of the

registrar and in a public place in the communal building.

CELEBRATIONS.--Marriage is, as a rule, to be solemnized before the

registrar of the district in which at least one of the parties has his or

her residence or domicile. At the celebration of marriage the parties are

obliged to appear together before the officiating magistrate, and in the

presence of two competent witnesses declare that they conclude a marriage

with each other. After such declaration the magistrate declares the couple

to be legally married.

The registrar is required by law to enter a record of the marriage on his

official register and to give a formal marriage certificate to the


FOREIGN MARRIAGES.--In general, for a marriage contracted by a Hungarian

citizen in a foreign country to be recognized as valid in Hungary, the

parties to the marriage must satisfy the requirements of their respective

States as to age and legal capacity and must be free from all other

impediments contained in the law of either State. The Hungarian citizen

must comply with the regulations of the Hungarian law regarding


Besides this, the foreign marriage must be concluded in accordance with

all the requirements of the country where it was celebrated.

ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN.--If at the time such children were born the parents

could legally have married each other then the subsequent marriage of the

parents makes legitimate the children.

ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE.--Marriages may be annulled because of the violation

of the various provisions of law regarding marriage impediments or the

formalities necessary to conclude marriage.

DIVORCE AND SEPARATION.--Marriage can be legally dissolved only by a

judicial decree on certain grounds specified by law. These grounds are of

two classes--absolute and relative.

The following causes constitute absolute grounds for divorce:

1. Adultery.

2. Crime against nature.

3. Bigamy.

4. Wilful abandonment without just cause.

5. Attempt upon the life or wilful and serious maltreatment such as to

endanger bodily safety or health.

6. Sentence to death or to at least five years in prison or the


For all of the above causes the court must grant an absolute divorce if

the allegations are proven.

Divorce may also be granted on the following "relative grounds" if the

court, after careful consideration of the individuality and

characteristics of the parties, is satisfied that the facts warrant the

desired relief:

1. Serious violation of marital duties.

2. Inducing, or attempting to induce, a child belonging to the family to

commission of a criminal act or to an immoral manner of life.

3. Persistent immoral conduct.

4. Sentence to prison or the penitentiary for less than five years, or to

jail for an offence involving dishonesty.

JUDICIAL SEPARATION.--An action for separation from bed and board can be

maintained on any of the grounds enumerated for divorce.

EFFECTS OF DIVORCE OR SEPARATION.--After a divorce the guilty party is

required to restore to the innocent party all gifts made by the latter

before or during the marriage. The man who is declared guilty is obliged

to maintain the innocent woman in a position in keeping with his estate

and social position, in so far as her income is insufficient. Alimony is

payable as a rule in advance monthly instalments. The right to alimony

continues after the man's death, but on the application of his heirs it

may be reduced to the amount of the net income of the estate. The right to

alimony ceases if the woman marries again.

Up to their seventh year minor children are entrusted to the care of the

mother; after that time, to the innocent party. If both parties are guilty

the father receives the custody of the boys and the mother that of the


The effects of separation are the same as those of divorce in reference to

property, alimony and custody of children.

FOREIGN DECREES.--In matrimonial causes where one or both of the parties

is a Hungarian citizen the courts of Hungary do not recognize any foreign

judgment or judicial decree.