Establishing and denying paternity in the international context

Establishing or denying paternity with an international element is always a little more complicated. The international element usually consists in the residence of the parent or presumed parent outside the Czech Republic.

In court proceedings with an international element, it is necessary to address the question of whether a Czech court can decide the case and what law the court will follow in making its decision.

As there is no multilateral international treaty or European regulation governing this issue, the question of jurisdiction and applicable law must be sought in:

  • a bilateral legal aid treaty between the Czech Republic and the country concerned, if such a treaty exists; or
  • Act No 91/2012 Coll., on Private International Law.

It is necessary to draw attention to the fact that if the Czech court does not have jurisdiction to decide the case, then the Czech court cannot deal with the case. If the Czech court has jurisdiction to decide the case, it will have to determine which law to apply to the case. The applicable law may depend, for example, on the nationality of the child, the residence of the parties, etc.