Does your divorce have a cross-border element in it?

The implications of Brexit on family law have increased uncertainty associated with relevant legal proceedings. The situation can become more complex if there are children involved. That’s because Brussels II (a) has been replaced by the Hague Convention (1996), creating slight differences in routine procedures.

In addition, the UK courts are still finding their bearings regarding child maintenance and relocation issues.

This article gives you an insight into the situation.

Here are a few things you should know:

1. Choosing Jurisdiction

The Brussels II A granted jurisdiction to the state where the child is ‘habitually resident’. The Hague Protection of Child Conventionmore or less follows the same conditions. It only differs in situations where children change habitual residence during legal proceedings. When that happens, a jurisdiction might lose its authority to enforce any orders regarding custodial rights (or relocation).

That means it’s best to stay within the same jurisdiction during your divorce and custody proceedings, reducing complications surrounding jurisdiction and order enforcement.

Recognition of Orders

The UK has made certain amendments to existing legislation (i.e. the Jurisdiction and Judgments (Family) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations). The new provision instructs UK courts to implement the Hague Convention 1996 to recognize and enforce orders issued in EU member states.

However, there are slight alterations in the new rules and regulations, which might affect the verdict in the long-run.

For instance, the Hague Convention does not include automatic recognition of custodial rights. You might need court permission and a declaration of enforceability to raise your child. The court order applies to situations where you want to relocate from the UK to the EU or vice versa. The extra steps can cause delays in legal proceedings.

Therefore, you must consider this before choosing the jurisdiction when you file for custody. The right selection will prevent unnecessaryback and forth between the jurisdictions.

What’s more?

If you are filing for custody in the EU, the government already has a checklist ready for related cross-border issues. Review the guide to understand the rules and regulations of handling EU-UK family disputes.

In a Nutshell

Lastly, the implications of Brexit on family law are complex and often ambiguous. You need to consider the advantages of each jurisdiction and the rules of enforcement beforehand. Parents are advised to seek legal consultation before the proceedings begin. Having a detailed discussion on the subject can provide clarity about the situation.

Our international family solicitors can guide and support you throughout the process.  We also have an extensive legal network that oversees cross-border situations in the other state. Leveraging that network and our expertise, we can ensure that you choose the right pathway for custody.

Want to know more? Schedule a free consultation with our international team of family lawyers.