Greece Joins EU Regulation On International Couple Divorce

By Editorial 31 January, 2014

The European Commission has approved Greece signing up to an EU "enhanced cooperation" Regulation that allows international couples to select which country's law applies in cases of divorce or legal separation.

The Regulation aims to provide assistance to weaker partners during divorce disputes, and to prevent a "rush to court" and forum shopping. International couples are able to agree in advance which law would apply in the event of their divorce or legal separation, and in cases where there is no agreement judges will have a common formula for deciding which country's law applies.

According to EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, the Regulation gives "legal certainty," and she described Greece's involvement as "very encouraging."

The Regulation has no effect on national divorce or marriage laws, nor does it foresee the adoption of rules affecting the substantive family law of EU member states.

"Enhanced cooperation" allows a group of at least nine EU member states to agree on a common policy in cases where full agreement across the EU cannot be reached. Greece is the 16th country to join the Regulation on divorce, following an original group of 14 countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain) and Lithuania.

In 2009 there were almost 1m divorces within the EU.

Tags: European Commission | Greece | Spain | European Union (EU) | Expats | Welfare | Europe |


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