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Law Articles

New property regimes for international couples in the EU 01/03/2019

The EU Regulations clarifying the rules applicable to property regimes for international married couples or registered partnerships apply as 29 January 2019. The regulations aim to establish clear rules in cases of divorce or death.


Not all Member States signed up to the new regime so it applies to only 18 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

The new regulations will:

  • clarify which national court is competent to help couples manage their property or distribute it between them in case of divorce, separation or death;
  • clarify which national law prevails in case the rules of several countries could potentially apply;
  • facilitate the recognition and enforcement of a judgment given in one Member State on property matters in another Member State.

The eighteen Member States that joined the new regime make up 70% of the EU population and represent most international couples who live in the EU. The remaining Member States can join the new regime at any time.

The non-participating Member States will continue applying their national law (including their rules on private international law) to cross-border situations relating to matrimonial property regimes and the property consequences of registered partnerships.

For more information on this topic published by the European Commission click here.

For further information and advice on this issue, and other family law issues, please contact us for a free initial consultation on 01992 306 616 or 0207 956 2740 or email us.

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