Multinational families ‘must be protected after Brexit’

Family Law|November 16th 2017

The currently stalled Brexit negotiations risk the future of thousands of families according to a new report.

Jointly produced by the Family Law Bar Association, the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and Resolution , the report addresses the implications for family law of Britain’s exit from the European Union. A network of legal agreements currently provides important safeguards for families living in more than one EU member states, it notes, ensuring clear rules on jurisdiction and making sure that family court rulings made in one country are recognised in others.

These frameworks must be maintained after Brexit, the three organisations insist, as they provide vital protections for multinational families if they split up, divorce or fall out over issues such as children.

According to the report, around 140,000 divorces each year involve families living across more than one EU member state, and there are approximately 1,800 of child abduction by parents from one member state into another.

Resolution’s Daniel Earnes explained:

“Families needing to go to court must know that whatever court they end up in, in whatever country, that decision will be respected by other courts. EU instruments which affect UK family law deal primarily with procedural rather than substantive family law – sovereignty is not the issue here – but they require full reciprocity to work.”

He added:

“Without reciprocity there is a risk of a ‘one way street’ – the UK would continue to apply EU family law and be obliged unilaterally to recognise and enforce decisions of other EU member states – whereas EU member states would not be obliged to recognise and enforce our decisions.”

You can be read Brexit and Family Law here.

Photo by faz besharatian via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

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  1. Helen Dudden says:

    In some cases there has been issues with law. Personally, I know of cases that have court orders in the UK, but we’re not respected within the EU.
    I only feel this could be more costly for those caught up in the system.

  2. JamesB says:

    Hi, does anyone know the fee for a C79, application for enforcement of contact order please? My ex is playing up and not facilitating the children seeing their father.

  3. JamesB says:

    Its ok, I’ll phone the local county court this afternoon to get the cost.

  4. JamesB says:


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