How Brexit will affect international divorces and family law issues

How Brexit will affect international divorces and family law issues

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in News

With the UK now leaving the EU, there will be potential implications in international family cases. A potential effect is cross border parental responsibility changes concerning children. Every year there are disputes involving international divorces and then the issue of who has custody of children needs to be resolved. There is however an overlap between the 1996 Hague Convention and Brussels II Revised. Family law practitioners can therefore consider approaching family cases involving an EU member state the same way even when Brussels IIa Revised becomes irrelevant to the UK because they both focus on the habitual residence of a child.

When an international divorce takes place a number of issues arise, including in which jurisdiction the divorce petition should be brought. International families will feel the effects of not being able to resolve domestic orders such as domestic violence issues, maintenance issues, and children contact issues and custody issues. However, now these domestic orders will be difficult to resolve, therefore almost eliminating cross border and mutual connections between the UK and EU courts.

The significant drop in the value of the pound can leave family clients worried, because their assets will be valued significantly lower than expected. But the UK will not leave the EU directly and straight away. The full impact of the pound and the decision to leave the EU is not known yet as it is too early to call. However the decision to leave may cause doubts to potential divorcees due to what the implications can be for international couples divorcing.

However there is no immediate change or cause for concern within international family law as Article 50 of the EU Treaty has not been activated and it will take some years for the UK to officially leave the EU completely and for any implications to officially take place.

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