Services – Family and inheritance matters

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Family and inheritance matters

We advise on all aspects of family law and inheritance law. We have many years of experience resolving Polish and international disputes in this area.

We specialise in handling high-value divorce and division of property proceedings involving complex assets in Poland and abroad.

We provide clear and practical advice on the legal and financial ramifications of the dissolution of marriages.

If the clients decide on separation, we assist in formalising the arrangements, negotiating and drafting the financial conditions and childcare issues.

We take all efforts to achieve the best possible result while guarding our clients’ privacy.

We are aware that the breakdown of a marriage impacts more than financial issues. Most parents agree that the interests of children should be of overriding importance, but in situations of intense conflict it is difficult to determine what is best for the child. It may be necessary for the guardianship court to intervene and take vital decisions such as:

  • Where will the children live?
  • How much time should they spend with each parent?
  • What contact should they have with their grandparents or other persons who have taken an active role in their upbringing?
  • Which schools should they attend?
  • Should the children travel internationally, or move abroad permanently?

These cases can be further complicated if the child has special needs or a parent has problems that may result in supervised or limited time with the child.

We represent parents in custody proceedings, disputes concerning important matters of the child, and administration of minors’ assets.

We support alternative and non-confrontational dispute resolution methods, but when needed we will initiative judicial proceedings to secure the interests of the child.

Marital property agreements are gaining in popularity in cases where one or both spouses hold significant assets, operate a family company or individual business, are public figures, or are remarrying and need to secure the interests of children from previous relationships.

We advise clients on conclusion of marital property agreements in order to ensure that the agreement reached between the partners is legally effective in different jurisdictions.

International relationships are increasingly common as people travel, work, reside, and acquire real estate and other assets in more than one country. The legal process for the breakdown of a relationship varies from country to country, making the choice of forum a crucial decision. For our clients’ needs, we analyse issues involving jurisdiction and applicable law, to allow them to take advantage of all available legal means.

Our lawyers have experience in:

  • Handling divorce proceedings where the parties dispute the proper jurisdiction
  • Conducting cross-border proceedings involving parental custody and access proceedings
  • Obtaining permission to relocate abroad (leave to remove)
  • Seeking recognition and enforcement of foreign rulings.

We also have experience in lodging applications with the European Court of Human Rights in cases of infringement of the right to respect for family life.

We support our clients regardless of where they reside. We cooperate closely with law firms all over the world to achieve the best possible results for our clients.

Parental child abduction occurs most often after the breakdown of the parents’ relationship, where one of the parents attempts to intentionally evade the family law regulations of a jurisdiction which he or she regards as unfavourable. It also happens that a parent simply returns with the child to the parent’s country of origin for personal or professional reasons, unaware of the legal consequences of such a move.

Dealing with cross-border child abduction cases requires a knowledge of not only the national family law regulations, but also of provisions of international law and the extensive case law of international courts. Immediate action in cases of child abduction may prove vital. The passage of time may not only deprive a parent of the opportunity to enforce custody rights that have been infringed but also cause irreversible consequences in the relations between parent and child.

We have many years of experience representing parents in cases under the Hague Convention of 1980 and the Brussels II bis Regulation.

At some stage in life, nearly everyone encounters the problem of reduced intellectual capacity, whether as a person suffering from an illness, or as a carer, family member, or friend. We advise clients on management of personal and financial affairs of persons who are ill or incapacitated, in Poland and abroad.

We assist in completing all types of formalities on behalf of persons present in Poland but declared incompetent in another country, and on behalf of Poles residing and incapacitated abroad.

We develop structures for ensuring ongoing care and financial security for persons who are ill or cannot live independently, in the event of sudden loss of their guardian or caregiver.

We provide comprehensive estate planning services, with attention to all of the client’s assets located in various countries around the world.

To this end, we draw on our many years of experience in Polish and international inheritance cases, as well as practical knowledge on the application of national and foreign mechanisms for intergenerational transfer of assets (such as trusts and foundations).

In developing inheritance structures, we take into consideration the client’s financial and personal situation, marital property regimes, the risk of claims for forced shares and familial support, and the tax consequences of the proposed measures. In this respect, we also analyse solutions available in other legal systems whose selection is permissible in the client’s situation under the EU’s Succession Regulation or conflict-of-law rules of countries outside the EU.

We have experience establishing and supporting charitable ventures (as a part of decedents’ estates) in various jurisdictions. We also assist in undertaking international commemorative and cultural activities relating to the decedent.

We specialise in all types of inheritance cases, particularly in an international context, advising on issues of determination of jurisdiction and governing law. We conduct proceedings on acquisition and distribution of inheritances, and also represent clients in litigation seeking payment of a forced share of the estate.

We organise mediation in inheritance cases and also conduct settlement negotiations when the heirs disagree on the nature and scope of the succession or settlement of the estate between the heirs.

We also advise at the stage of notarial regulation of rights to estates (e.g. wills) in Poland and other European countries. We assist our clients in preparing and obtaining the relevant documents for inheritance procedures at Polish and foreign notarial offices and at Polish consulates abroad. To this end, we also take the necessary steps at Polish civil registries for transcription of foreign civil registry deeds and correction of existing deeds when relevant.