Summary of the Family Law of the Republic of Montenegro (Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro, no. 7/89)

Contributed by: Irena Milatovic and Vanja Mikulic, Montenegro National VAW Monitors

Summary of the Family Law of the Republic of Montenegro 

(Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro, no. 7/89)

Right of woman and child on protection from abuse and neglect depends on activities of different services, institutions and state bodies – social protection, police, judiciary, health and educational system.

Abused women and children have the right on protection by state institutions (centers for social work, court, magistrate, and police). For the obtaining of rights, woman can appeal in written form, by an appeal to the center for social work; complaint, criminal complaint or criminal denunciation – to the court; denunciation – to the magistrate; telephone call or directly to the police. 

Family law regulates marriage, marriage relationships, relations between parents and children, adoption, custody, sustenance, relations in the family in terms of property, and in particular proceedings in the plea from marital and family relations.

Family law enacts protection measures for the child in family as well as sanctions in cases of severe violation of conditions for development of a child. The interest of a child is endangered in cases of abuse or neglect in the family. Citizens, state institutions, organs, communities and experts have the obligation of denunciation.

Coarse neglect of parental obligations means all forms of negligible relations towards physical, psychological and social needs of the child, neglect of his/hers health and education.

Children from marital and extra marital communities are equal in rights and obligations by this law.

The property gained in extra marital communion is considered as joint property of the partners and its division is performed by the same provisions related to the division of joint property between spouses.

Extra marital spouse has no right on pension, inheritance and tenancy right on the basis of extra marital communion.

In marital communion, the complaint for property division could be submitted during the marriage and after divorce.

Everything gained during the marriage is divided during the divorce on equal parts in concert between spouses or according to the contribution of each partner individually.

Spouses are equal in the marriage. They are obliged to be faithful towards each other, to help each other, respect each other and maintain harmony relations (Family Law, articles 37 and 38). Spouse can ask for divorce if the marital relations are seriously and permanently disordered or if the marriage goal could not be achieved (Family Law, article 55).

The procedure for divorce is initiated by the complaint for divorce or suggestion for divorce by mutual agreement. With the suggestion about divorce by mutual agreement the spouses with minor persons are obliged to submit written agreement on keeping, upbringing and supporting the minors, and on maintaining their personal relations with children.

The husband can not ask for the divorce during the wife’s pregnancy and until the child is one year old unless the wife agrees on divorce.

When starting the procedure for divorce, the court sends the spouse who has children to the local center for social work. After trying to reconcile the spouses, it is established to whom the children are going to be trusted.

Wife who has no earnings should procure the proof on unemployment or if she is on forced vacation and that she is not ratepayer. She could ask for free legal assistance in the center for social work. Also, she could ask for liberation of judicial expenses, taxes, expert’s report and similar. The court estimates whether the party can or not pay expenses.

Divorce brings a great responsibility of the partner for its own life and the future of children.