Blame in disintegration of matrimonial life – does it really worth to rule?
Entering into marriage and dissolution of the marriage remain under strict rationing of the state. Divorce is the only legally admissible form of dissolution of marriage and decreeing divorce is admissible solely in case where permanent and profound disintegration of matrimonial life between spouses occurred. Profound disintegration of matrimonial life takes place solely where three bonds – spiritual, physical and economic ceases. Whereas permanence of disintegration occurs where from the viewpoint of life experience it may be adopted that re-molding of martial bond will not take place in the future.
In accordance with article 57 of the Family and Guardianship Code the Court decrees also whether and which of the spouses is at blame. However the court shall abandon decreeing the blame on at the consentaneous request of spouses. In such case such effects as if none of the spouses bear the blame occurs. On the basis of divorce provisions actions or omissions of the spouse being expression of his will which constitute violations of the provisions of the marriage law (article 23, article 24, article 27 of the Family and Guardianship Code) or principles of community life and lead to permanent and profound disintegration of matrimonial life are deemed culpable. It is worth to wheel just opinion expressed by the Supreme Court in the judgment of 5th December 1997, I CKN 597/97 that character of decreeing about the blame in divorce consist in encompassing by insightful analyze its subjective element. The thing is as a matter of fact psychological analyze although its object are essentially merely external symptoms (behaviors) of internal experiences. Ultimate evaluation of reprehensibility is based firmly on moral and not legal criteria. This entails specifically complications stemming from the fact that moral evaluation demands consideration in wide range conditions and circumstances in which a man performs particular behavior.
The Court decreeing divorce is in principal obliged whether and which of the spouses bears the blame of disintegration of matrimonial life or decrees the blame of both spouses (article 57 para 1 of the Family and Guardianship Code). Exception to the abovementioned rule is stipulated by article 57 para 2 of the Family and Guardianship Code which allows for divorce judgment without decreeing the blame at the consentaneous request of spouses. The question whether it is worth to demand decreeing the blame by the Court should be posed at this point.
The only provision referring to the blame in disintegration of matrimonial life in relation to effects of such judgment is article 60 of the Family and Guardianship Code which stipulates that divorced spouse who were not deemed entirely guilty of disintegration of matrimonial life and who lives in scarcity may claim from other divorced spouse providing means of maintenance within the scope corresponding to justified needs of the entitled and earnings and material possibilities of the obliged. Whether one of the spouses has been found entirely guilty of disintegration of matrimonial life and divorce entails significant deterioration of material situation of innocent spouse the court may at the request of innocent spouse decree that entirely guilty spouse is obliged to make for satisfying needs of innocent spouse even if he is not in scarcity. The obligation to provide means of maintenance expires in case of entering into new marriage by this spouse. However in case where divorced spouse who was not found guilty of disintegration of matrimonial life is the obliged, the abovementioned duty expires after five years since decreeing divorce unless the court by virtue of particular circumstances on the request of the entitled extend the abovementioned five-year term. Therefore cited provision stipulates alimony obligation among the divorced spouses. Decreeing entirely blame of the spouse is meaningful solely for the possibility of application in a given case so-called extended alimony obligation. As it was incisively noted by the Supreme Court in the judgment of 7th May 1998, III CKN 186/98, prerequisite of extended alimony obligation of the divorced being entirely guilty of disintegration of matrimonial life is establishing that divorce involves significant deterioration of material situation of an innocent spouse which is however not marked by scarcity. Evaluation whether such deterioration took place is dependable from comparison of situation of the innocent spouse after decreeing divorce with situation which would took place in case where divorced was not decreed and matrimonial life was correct. This means that in case of decreeing entirely blame of one spouse, the other one is not obliged to prove that he or she is in scarcity a result of divorce but merely that deterioration of his or her material situation took place.
It should be clearly stressed that decreeing blame has no influence on remaining components of the divorce judgment. From the viewpoint of law it has no meaning for deciding about parental authority over common juvenile child of the spouses and contacts of parents with a child. It also does not determine issue of the amount in which each of the spouses is obliged to bear costs of maintenance and upbringing of a child (alimony obligation towards child). The blame in disintegration of matrimonial life is also irrelevant for the issue of division of spouses’ common property. The spouses who is innocent of disintegration of matrimonial life shall not obtain larger share in the spouses’ common property because such eventuality is provided solely by article 43 para 2 of the Family and Guardianship Code which stipulates possibility of establishing shares with consideration of extent in which each of the spouses has contributed arose of that property supposing that there are important reasons for doing so.
Why therefore it is worth to file a motion for abandonment of decreeing blame? It allows form avoiding strenuous proof proceedings within the scope of demonstrating that one of the spouses is guilty of disintegration of matrimonial life and thanks to that obtaining divorce judgment in significantly shorter time. Sakes of psychological character are also meaningful. Divorce has been put on the second place of the list of the most stressful life situations. Providing prove concerning matrimonial life, especially within the scope of physical issues is particularly uneasy for the parties and causes additional, maybe unnecessary discomfort. However whether a party is going to pursue alimony claims from the other spouse, motion for decreeing his or her blame is fully justified and even essential. In my opinion this situation authorizes submitting analyzed above request.
Advocate Mateusz Budziarek
 Cf. A. Olejniczak in H. Dolecki, T. Sokołowski (ed.), Kodeks rodzinny i opiekuńczy Komentarz, Warsaw, Wolters Kluwer 2013.
 See also judgment of the Supreme Court 28th January 2004. IV CK 406/02, LEX no 529700.
 OSNC 1998/6/99.
 LEX no 83804.