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 local government of the county center and the Tallinn vital statistics department.

Upon divorce, the previous surname of a person may be restored on the basis of his or her application, otherwise the surname borne during marriage shall be preserved. A restored surname may be:

  • the surname last borne before the marriage being divorced
  • the surname last borne before the first marriage.

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 50 Euros shall be paid before submitting the application to the vital statistics office, which will certify the divorce.

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 (pdf, 30.1 KB, in Estonian).

All documents from a foreign state must be legalized or apostilled (unless otherwise specified by an international treaty), translated into Estonian, English, or Russian and must come with a certify of correctness of the translation from a notary, a sworn translator or from a consular official.

A divorce shall not be granted earlier than one month and later than three months from the date of submission of an application. If, with good reason, a spouse can not appear in person at the vital statistics office on the actual date for registering the divorce, he or she may submit a separate consent for registering the divorce certified by notary or consular official without coming to the office in person. 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 and it is free of charge.

If you need to present a vital statistics certificate (a birth certificate, a marriage certificate, a divorce certificate, a birth certificate of own child, a death certificate of own child or spouse) on the basis of a vital statistics act, but you have lost it or it has become unavailable, then you can order a duplicate certificate via population registers e-services. A state fee of 10 Euros (paper certificate) or 5 Euros (electronic certificate) should be paid for issuing a duplicate certificate. More information and reference numbers for the local governments of the county center can you find on homepage of Ministry of the Interior and also at the e-service. If you would like to have a birth certificate in a foreign language, contact your local government of the county center (for excample Vital Statistics Department in Tallinn) for further information.

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. A notary may grant a divorce even when one of the spouse’s place of residence is in a foreign state. 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 separate notarially authenticated application.

All documents from a foreign state must be legalized or apostilled (unless otherwise specified by an international treaty), translated into Estonian, English, or Russian and must come with a certify of correctness of the translation from a notary, a sworn translator or from a consular official.

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 (64 Euros) plus value added tax 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 100 Euros shall be paid when submitting a statement of claim for obtaining divorce. Reference numbers you need are unique and you get them from the court.

State portal eesti.ee does not offer legal advice, European e-Justice portal provides information on justice systems.

Last amended: 29-01-2018 00:00 | Compiled by: siseministeerium