No deal Brexit – implications for divorcing couples

The threat of a no-deal departure from the EU is the UK’s strongest bargaining chip, and so is unlikely to be removed from the negotiating table.  No-one can predict what the eventual divorce settlement between the UK and the EU will look like, but as a no-deal scenario cannot be discounted, it is important to consider the implications.

Fortunately, the family law team at Mooney Everett Solicitors in Ormskirk, Lancashire have over 50 years of experience in dealing with complex family law cases, including international aspects of both divorce and children law.

Angie Brown, family law solicitor considers the likely impact on families who are separating with cross-jurisdictional issues to consider.

‘If the UK leaves the EU with any deal on 29 March, it is expected that current EU laws will continue to apply throughout any transition period’ says Angie.

Around 1.3 million UK citizens live in the EU and nearly four million EU citizens live and work in the UK.  Relationship breakdown and divorce occurs irrespective of political turmoil, and for those cases which are already ‘in progress’ The Law Society and Resolution have published a series of practical recommendations to consider in the event of no deal.

In January 2019, the European Commission produced guidance relating to jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement in civil justice and private international law which, in general terms states that ‘an EU member state will not give effect to a UK order made before Exit day unless there was also the required registration procedure concluded before Exit day.’ The process varies for matters related to divorce, finance or children.

UK solicitors will need to refer to national laws in each European country, or international laws such as the Hague Convention, and will often need to seek advice from local solicitors in EU countries.

Key considerations for divorce solicitors include:

  • choosing where to lodge divorce proceedings, and whether to do so before Exit day;
  • ensuring that a divorce is recognised by the 15 EU member states which are not signatories to the Hague Convention;
  • ensuring that same-sex divorces are properly recognised;
  • negotiating maintenance orders in light of differing regimes relating to needs rather than sharing;
  • foreign pension sharing arrangements; and
  • concluding agreements in regard to arrangements for children.

‘Regardless of the Brexit outcome, with our solicitor’s wealth of experience in advising on and dealing with cases with International elements and context, we are extremely well placed to offer clear no-nonsense advice, despite the political chaos,’ concludes Angie Brown.

For a confidential discussion about any aspect of divorce or relationship breakdown, contact Angie Brown at Mooney Everett Solicitors on 01695 574 111 or email email hidden; JavaScript is required.


This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.