Stowe Family Law’s head of international family law, Frank Arndt, features in today’s Times Law ‘Water Cooler.’ His comments on proposals to reform EU divorce law highlight a pertinent issue for many of our clients – what to do when you divorce across borders.
From The Times:
Forum-shopping for the best European country for a divorce may become even more complex – with proposals just announced by the UK to harmonise the law affecting the 170,000 couples involved in cross-border EU divorces each year. New draft regulations would allow couples to choose the member state where they want to divorce, if they have other defined links with it, such as place of marriage, usual domicile, nationality or they were last resident there.
The proposal provides for both spouses to be informed of their rights to stop the choice of forum creating a disadvantage for the weaker member of a couple. The commission’s draft has run into opposition from Sweden; it needs unanimous approval to become EU law. At least nine countries (France, Italy, Spain, Romania, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia and Luxembourg) have agreed to use what is called “enhanced co-operation” on the issue, enabling them to go ahead on their own.
Frank Arndt, head of international family work at Stowe Family Law, said: “This is a split, not a harmonisation. Current EU law in this area is a dog’s dinner of contradictions, absurdities and injustices. The country in which divorce proceedings are filed is of huge significance . . . and can have a dramatic bearing on the eventual settlement.”
To read the full ‘Water Cooler’, click here.