EU aims to make bi-national divorces easier

15th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

15 January 2007, Dresden (dpa) - European Union member states have agreed to push ahead with a proposal to make dissolving bi-national marriages less expensive and cumbersome, the EU presidency said Monday. Prior to marrying, international couples should be able to set out in a contract which country's laws will reign in a divorce court, according to plans drawn up by German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries. Germany country currently holds the rotating EU presidency. "Couples should be able to determine w

15 January 2007

Dresden (dpa) - European Union member states have agreed to push ahead with a proposal to make dissolving bi-national marriages less expensive and cumbersome, the EU presidency said Monday.

Prior to marrying, international couples should be able to set out in a contract which country's laws will reign in a divorce court, according to plans drawn up by German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries.

Germany country currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

"Couples should be able to determine which law is applicable to their case," Zypries told reporters at an informal meeting of EU justice and interior ministers in the east German city of Dresden.

The planned rules would mean that, for example, a Swedish-Italian couple living in Paris could divorce in a French court which would create a settlement in accordance with Swedish, Italian or French marriage law.

Such an option is currently impossible in the EU-27, making divorces a lengthy and unpredictable procedure.

Some 170,000 out of 875,000 divorces annually now involve couples of different nationalities, according to EU data.

But while EU ministers agreed on the need to create uniform divorce rules, a number of countries were concerned that their courts would have to apply foreign law, Zypries acknowledged.

The fiercest opposition to the plans is expected to come from EU member Malta which does not permit divorce.

Malta recently asked for EU assurance that the divorce proposal will not be applicable to the island which joined the club in 2004.

Zypries also said that she would seek to harmonize national rules on inheritance.

DPA

Subject: German news

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