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Brexit & divorce – what place are we now? – Stowe Family Law


The information final 12 months was understandably dominated by COVID-19; lockdowns, restrictions, and recommendation for social distancing. Meanwhile, in keeping with the UK’s exit from the European Union, there have been essential modifications being made to global household unit regulation because of brexit, which can have gone unnoticed. Here we share a quick abstract of the important thing modifications to divorce regulation, which you will must know.

Who can now subject divorce proceedings in England and Wales?

One of the benefits of Brexit is that it’s now simpler to get divorced in England and Wales. If one occasion is domiciled in England or Wales, then that’s adequate jurisdiction to subject a petition. This is no matter what place their partner is domiciled, what their nationality is, and what place the petitioner resides. This has enabled individuals who weren’t eligible earlier than, to subject petitions, however there are points alongside the best way to concentrate on.

What occurs in the event you dwell in two totally different nations?

Previously, it was widespread for there to be jurisdiction in multiple nation by which to subject a divorce petition. The EU Regulations included the first-past-the-post rule, in order that if divorce proceedings have been issued in two totally different EU nations, the one which was issued first would proceed and the second can be stayed. Upon leaving the EU, that rule now not applies. If divorce proceedings are issued in two totally different nations, there’s now a rule to find out which nation ought to have precedence.

This in the end signifies that every nation will choose for itself whether or not to proceed with the divorce. The English courts have a look at essentially the most ‘convenient’ discussion board for the proceedings, as an example, what place are the events residing, what place are the belongings situated and many others. The different European nation will apply their very own nationwide regulation to find out whether or not they need to have jurisdiction. This may lead to each nations deciding that they’re each appropriate venues for the proceedings and the events may find yourself with two units of proceedings operating concurrently in two totally different nations.

This change is prone to trigger a rise in litigation over what place the proceedings needs to be going down. In flip, it will result in larger uncertainty within the jurisdiction which can apply and can make it more durable for households to resolve their points.  This will naturally enhance prices and tensions might run excessive.

Recognition of decree absolute

Previously, EU Member States recognised divorces obtained in different EU States. As England and Wales is now not collectively a Member State, it’s divorces is not going to be recognised routinely. There is a Hague Convention which seeks to realize this recognition, and it will proceed, however solely a handful of EU Member States are signatories and it doesn’t apply to civil partnerships. Those nations who will not be signatories will apply their very own nationwide regulation in figuring out whether or not they recognise an English divorce.

This is prone to have important penalties, necessitating extra recommendation in second nations, which can naturally enhance prices for the shopper.

Enforcement points 

If proceedings commenced earlier than the transition interval, then the earlier (or ‘old’) EU guidelines may be relied upon when implementing any ensuing order, as they’re nonetheless recognised. For these intertwined in new proceedings, implementing a ensuing order might show to be tough. Luckily, the prevailing Hague Convention that can help however it’s a moderately convoluted course of and there are numerous possibilities for the uncooperative partner to evade cost due to this fact it is going to be tougher, and costly, to implement an order than beforehand.

Going ahead, it is vital for shoppers to take recommendation early on, and what place there are clear global parts intertwined, to rigorously think about recommendation from not solely a specialist household unit lawyer in England and Wales but additionally, some other pertinent nation. If there’s multiple choice to subject proceedings, consideration will have to be paid to the monetary implications as well as sensible points, reminiscent of attending hearings, affect on the broader household unit and the enforceability, and recognition, of the order made.

Get in contact

Anyone with cross-border points involving an EU member state ought to take authorized recommendation to make sure that they’ve the entire data required to maneuver ahead.

If you want to any recommendation on divorce after brexit, or different household unit regulation points, please do contact our Client Care Team to talk to certainly one of our specialist divorce lawyers. 


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