Have the UK-EU divorce rules changes after Brexit?

The start of January 2021, marked the end of the transition period. Like many areas of law, cross-border divorce regulations have altered significantly. Due to which, petitioners are requested to review the new rules before they choose a jurisdiction. The primary goal here is to handle everything properly, ensuring that your paperwork complies with post-Brexit regulations.

Here are the implications of Brexit on cross-border divorces:

Choosing the Jurisdiction

When filing for a divorce in England or Wales, one or both partner need British citizenship, habitual residency or domicile status. Otherwise, your divorce petition gets rejected.

UK-EU divorces are no longer reciprocal or mutual. With the cancellation of Brussels II regulations, the UK government will start following The Hague Convention (1970).  The procedure though simpler, makes things slightly more challenging for cross-border divorces. That is because the UK might not accept some EU-based verdicts and vice versa.

How to Choose a Jurisdiction?

You can settle differences through methodical mediation or go to the court.

If you go to court, decide where and how the proceedings will take place.Weigh the pros and cons of each legal regulation and its impact on personal and financial wellbeing.

Here are key factors to consider: 

  • Understand the family law regulations of each country and how each state recognises and enforces international divorces.
  • The distribution of cross-border financial assets
  • The benefits of specific jurisdictions on the weaker party
  • How do these laws impact child arrangement and custodial rights?

In short, select the option that creates more advantages for you in the long run.

Understanding the Timeframe

The Withdrawal Agreement accepts Brussels II provisions if your divorce proceedings begun before Jan 2021.  The UK courts will recognise EU-based judgements for these cases.

Alternatively, divorce cases initiated after Jan 2021 will use the new jurisdiction. These proceedings will adhere to a combination of rules and regulations. They include the amended the Domicile and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1973, by the Jurisdiction and Judgments (Family) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations. Other rules are taken from The Hague Convention. The only trouble is that only a handful of EU members agree to The Hague Convention. That means you might have to undertake additional steps to get your divorce recognised in EU, depending on your location.

Moreover, the UK government has the right to halt proceedings if your divorce proceedings are going on in both EU and English  courtrooms.

Final Words

Lastly, anyone dealing with a UK-EU divorce must consult a specialist for legal support. Our law firm can tactfully handle the emerging challenges of cross-border divorces. Consultation includes paperwork, submissions, and a sound understanding of The Hague Convention and Brussels II.  We can also give you an in-depth overview of the implications of Brexit on family law. Having this knowledge can safeguard your rights and protect your financial assets.

Do you need help? Contact us today to schedule an initial appointment.