Divorcing a marriage

Divorce can be granted based on the mutual agreement of the spouses at a vital statistics office, by the notary or by court in the case of a dispute. Vital statistics offices competent to grant divorce are county governments and the Tallinn vital statistics office.

Divorce at the vital statistics office

A vital statistics office may grant a divorce if the place of residence of both spouses is in Estonia. In order to divorce, the spouses shall personally submit a joint written application in Estonian (pdf, 31.6 kB) and a document certifying the contraction of marriage. The submission of the document or information is not required if the information necessary for making an entry can be obtained from the population register. State fee shall be paid before submitting the application.

If a spouse cannot appear with good reason at a vital statistics office in person for submission of a joint application, he or she may submit a separate notarially authenticated application. Documents in foreign languages shall be submitted to the vital statistics office along with a translation certified by a notary, consular office or sworn translator. A foreign document which is the basis for a marriage entry shall be legalised or authenticated by a certificate (apostille), unless otherwise prescribed by an international agreement. A divorce shall not be granted earlier than one month and later than three months from the date of submission of an application. If a spouse cannot appear with good reason at a vital statistics office on the day of the divorce, the spouse may submit a consent to the divorce without the presence of the spouse which is authenticated by a notary or consular officer. Upon the request of the applicants, an official shall issue a certificate of divorce after making the divorce entry. The certificate may be issued to both applicants.

State fee shall be paid for making the divorce entry.

Divorce by the notary

Divorce is granted by a notary upon agreement of the spouses based on a joint application that is filled out at the notary’s office. The divorcing spouses need to bring their identification documents and if the marriage being dissolved is not registered in the population register, a document certifying the contraction of marriage. If a spouse cannot appear with good reason at a notary in person for submission of a joint application, he or she may submit a separate notarially authenticated application. All foreign documents shall be translated into Estonian and the translation shall be certified by a notary, sworn translator or consular officer. After an application for divorce is submitted, the notary shall appoint a date for divorce, when he or she shall grant divorce in the presence of both spouses. If a spouse cannot appear with good reason at the notary at the time specified, the spouse may submit a separate consent to the divorce without the presence of the spouse which is authenticated by a notary or consular officer. Notary fee is paid upon divorce and this includes accepting the application for divorce, counselling prescribed by the Notary Fees Act and preparing an entry.

Divorce by court

Divorce is granted by court if the spouses have disputes over the divorce or circumstances pertaining to the divorce or if the vital statistics office is not competent to grant the divorce. State fee shall be paid when submitting a statement of claim for obtaining divorce.

State Portal eesti.ee does not offer legal advice.

Compiled by: siseministeerium