The EU has published a Green Paper and a Proposal in the fields of matrimonial property, and the jurisdictional rules and law applicable to divorce respectively.
The Commission has adopted a new Green Paper to launch a wide-ranging consultation exercise on the difficulties arising in a European context for married and unmarried couples when settling the property consequences of their union and the legal means of solving them. The Green Paper mainly deals with issues concerning the determination of the law applicable to the property consequences of such unions and ways and means of facilitating the recognition and enforcement in Europe of judgments and formal documents relating to matrimonial property rights, and in particular marriage contracts.
In this Green Paper the Commission focuses on questions concerning matrimonial property rights, that is to say the legal rules relating to the spouses' financial relationships resulting from their marriage, both with each other and with third parties, in particular their creditors. We are concerned here, for example, with couples not sharing the same nationality who separate and leave property in a Member State, or couples sharing the same nationality who divorce and have property in another Member State. The Green Paper also considers the question of the property consequences of other forms of unions, such as registered partnerships. In all Member States, more and more couples are formed without a marriage bond. To reflect this new social reality, the Green Paper also addresses the question of the property consequences of the separation of unmarried couples in an international context.
The Commission proposes to introduce harmonised rules on applicable law and to revise the existing jurisdiction rules in divorce matters. The aim is to enhance legal certainty and flexibility for the thousands of couples who are involved in "international" divorce proceedings each year in the European Union. Another aim is to ensure access to court for EU citizens living in third States.
Source: BIICL Mailing List