EU moves to simplify divorce law

Separating couples who hold different nationalities have been promised more control over their divorce.

The European Commission has proposed a system to simplify divorce law for partners with connections to different EU countries.

For example, a French-Swedish couple living in Germany could ask a German court to assess their divorce application under French or Swedish law.

Under the plans, put forward by EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding, courts across the continent would operate a "common formula" for deciding which country's law should apply to the separating partners.

"Thousands of couples find themselves in difficult personal situations because national legal systems have so far failed to provide clear answers. In many cases, children and the weaker spouse suffer," Ms Reding said.

"I do not want people in the EU to be left to manage complicated international divorces alone. I want them to have clear rules so that they always know where they stand."

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Published on: March 30, 2010

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