1. Regulation implementing enhanced cooperation for divorce and separation already in force

    published on Monday, January 03, 2011 under Citizens

    The Official Journal of the European Union published on 29 December 2010 Council Regulation (EU) Nº 1259/2010 of 20 December 2010 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation. This rule which will provide higher legal certainty for international couples, represents the first application of the enhanced cooperation mechanism within the Lisbon Treaty.

    The adoption of Council Regulation (EU) Nº 1259/2010 of 20 December 2010 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation, represents one more step for the Commission with the objective of maintaining and developing an area of freedom, security and justice, by adopting measures related to judicial cooperation in civil matters having cross-border implications. Further to the political agreement reached on 3 December 2010 by Justice ministers of the 14 participating Member States within this enhanced cooperation, this Regulation creates a clear, comprehensive legal framework in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation.

    This Regulation aims to provide citizens with appropriate outcomes in terms of legal certainty, predictability and flexibility, and prevent a situation from arising where one of the spouses applies for divorce before the other one does in order to ensure that the proceeding is governed by a given law which he or she considers more favourable to his or her own interests.

    Scope for the application of enhanced cooperation for divorce and separation

    Regulation implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation will only apply to the dissolution or loosening of marriage ties, and therefore the law determined by the conflict-of-laws rules of this Regulation will apply to the grounds for divorce and legal separation.

    Preliminary questions such as legal capacity and the validity of the marriage, and matters such as the effects of divorce or legal separation on property, name, parental responsibility, maintenance obligations or any other ancillary measures should be determined by the conflict-of-laws rules applicable in the participating Member State concerned.

    This Regulation is in force since 30 December 2010 and will apply from 21 July 2012, with the exception of certain provisions regarding the information to be provided by participating Member States which will be applied from 21 July 2011.

    By 31 December 2015, and every 5 years thereafter, the Commission will present to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee a report on the application of this Regulation, which will be accompanied, if appropriate, by proposals to adapt the Regulation.

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