JURIST Supported by the University of Pittsburgh
Serious law. Primary sources. Global perspective.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

EU proposes simplified international divorce laws
Bhargav Katikaneni at 8:57 AM ET

[JURIST] The European Commission (EC) [official website] on Wednesday proposed reforms to simplify and clarify international divorce laws. Under the proposal, married couples from different European Union (EU) countries could choose the country of the divorce, and the various courts would use a common formula [press release] to decide which country's law applies when a couple disagrees. EC Vice President Viviane Reding [official website] said the law will protect [press release] the weaker spouse and reduce the costs of litigation:

International couples can encounter arbitrary legal problems that turn the tragedy of divorce into a financial and emotional disaster, making peoples' lives very hard. Thousands of couples find themselves in difficult personal situations because national legal systems have so far failed to provide clear answers. In many cases, children and the weaker spouse suffer. I do not want people in the EU to be left to manage complicated international divorces alone. I want them to have clear rules so that they always know where they stand. This is why we decided to move ahead today.

The measure, supported by 10 countries [BBC report], is expected to be passed under enhanced cooperation [EU backgrounder], which allows nine or more members to pass a law they deem important.

In January, EU Justice Ministers debated [JURIST report] whether to use enhanced cooperation for the first time to create a uniform marriage and divorce law for mixed-nationality couples. In hearings before the EU parliament, Reding said such a measure was necessary [press release] because cross-border divorces were a big problem as the law across the member countries varied significantly. For instance, in July, the UK recognized prenuptial agreements [JURIST report] as a valid contract for the first time, bringing its law in line with other European countries. The issue is currently on appeal before the UK Supreme Court.

Link |  | print | subscribe | RSS feeds | latest newscast | Facebook page

For more legal news check the Paper Chase Archive...


 UN rights chief calls for end to 'impunity' after Israel attack on UN school
7:04 PM ET, August 1

 Federal court rules Microsoft must disclose overseas customer data
12:44 PM ET, August 1

 UN official: violations of religious freedom persist in Vietnam
10:51 AM ET, August 1

 click for more...

Get JURIST legal news delivered daily to your e-mail!


Unprecedented Notice of Warrantless Wiretapping in a Closed Case
Ramzi Kassem
CUNY School of Law


Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.


Paper Chase welcomes comments, tips and URLs from readers. E-mail us at JURIST@jurist.org