Life, just like any road, is never perfectly straight. It has its bends and rolls up but also downhills sometimes. Whether we walk this road alone for a while or alongside our close and loved ones, we will most probably hit a bump or two eventually. We seem to be tested by pretty much everything every single day – especially when abroad, in a new living environment.
That is why – when difficulties arise and our own attempts to solve the issue fail to work – one should try to remain as calm as possible and see a specialist or follow a proper procedure.
See a therapist
Living abroad and adjusting to a new job, city and life rhythm far away from the family and friends can be a real challenge. Some cope with this quite well, for others a talk over a cup of coffee simply is not enough.
In such cases, meeting a specialist – a psychologist or a psychotherapist – can be a real life saver. There are English-speaking ones in Brno and they can help both individuals and couples that are dealing with coexistence problems.
To see a list of English-speaking doctors, including therapists, read our guide on Medical Services.
Adjusting to a new country can be equally – if not more – difficult for children. Learning a new language while starting in a new school with a new curriculum is a challenge a child occasionally might need help with. Finding an English-speaking child psychologist in Brno is not easy.
However, every school has either a psychologist or a social preventionist in-house. Also, in Brno one can contact one of the state centres offering psychological and special-pedagogical services and counselling to children from pre-school (3+) to high-school age.
Find a lawyer
Unfortunately, despite all the efforts some relationships do not last.
In case of married or registered couples, some legal action is needed in order to untie the knot.
Whether getting divorced in the Czech Republic is possible or not depends on two essential questions: can Czech law be applied, and can the divorce take place in front of a Czech court? The citizenship and the usual abode of the spouses are taken into consideration when examining which legal framework applies: EU regulations, potential bi/multilateral treaties or Czech law. The analysis needs to be done by a local lawyer, occasionally lawyers from the country of origin need to be consulted as well.
If the couple has children, deciding the custody and the alimony takes priority as they are essential in protecting the interests of a child. Among other factors, the usual abode of the child(ren) is of importance in this process.
During the divorce, it is obligatory for the parents to cooperate with OSPOD – the Municipal authority department for the social and legal protection of children that oversees the rights and interests of children including upbringing and educational issues or statements at courts.
If one parent lives abroad, the Office for International Legal Protection of Children (UMPOD) needs to be involved as well, e.g. in cases concerning alimony, contact with the child or international kidnapping (when one parent takes their child abroad without the consent of the other one).
More information can be found in a handbook First Aid for international families in crisis or on the website Mezinárodní rozvod. You can equally email Nadace Naše dítě – at email@example.com. They speak English and provide counselling concerning the protection of children. Last but not least, read more about some individual cases of foreign families here in Brno to understand how divorce, decision of the child’s custody or presumption of paternity work in the Czech legal system.
Contact a counselling centre or the Police
Occasionally, unfortunately, things get out of control – people get angry, act irrationally and even get violent. Although being human means being errant and making mistakes, no one should take advantage of their physical strength or social status at the expense of somebody else. If you feel threatened, oppressed, unsafe or if someone harms you physically or mentally, there are places in Brno you can turn to. The key is not to remain silent.
In case of an immediate threat, you can always get in touch with the Police or with the nearest Brno Municipal police department. If a physical assault happens, the police can order the aggressor to leave the household and ban them from returning for up to 14 days. For future evidence, it is also recommended to see a doctor or a specialist to document the injuries.
You may turn to various counselling and help centres to discuss your options (see the list below). The Czech police have summed up how to proceed in case of domestic violence in an overview (in Czech) available on their website. One more tip on how to leave an abusive partner can be found here.
Useful websites and contacts
Social, legal and psychological counseling for persons threatened by domestic violence. They speak English.
- Sýpka 25
- +420 541 213 732
Social and legal counselling, legal assistance to specific individuals exposed to hate violence (racism, neo-Nazism). They speak English in their Brno office.
- Malinovského náměstí 4
- +420 773 177 104
Bílý kruh bezpečí
Legal, social and psychological support to victims, their family relatives and witnesses of crime. They speak English, personal counselling in English by appointment.
- Slovinská 41
- +420 116 006
Counselling for victims of domestic and sexual violence as well as people with difficulty managing aggression. Legal counselling is possible with an interpreter, psychological for Czech-speaking clients only.
- Gorkého 17
- +420 737 834 345, +420 545 245 996
Free mediation in Eglish for families with children (married / unmarried couples or partners individually, also their children if 6+ years of age).
- Minská 160/102
- +420 775 913 064