Better protection for children of international couples

The Commission proposed EU-wide, harmonised rules for when parents get divorced and children are involved: Faster procedures, clear rules, lower legal costs.

How did we get here?

The entire name for this lovely piece of recast legislation is "Jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of decisions in matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility; international child abduction". Bottom line is that more and more existing international couples have children and get divorced. When it gets ugly there are no harmonised rules on which court from which Member State has the authority to make decisions on where the child/children get to stay, etc. These revised rules should change that.


Why is this important for me?

Let's pretend you are married to someone from another EU Member State, you have a cute child but things are not going well for the three of you: you want to get divorced. The new EU rules will make it a hell of a lot easier for you and your partner (and your child btw) to settle the administrative proceedings (as it is called): same rules for all EU countries with more focus on the child's interest. Also, it will be much cheaper because it doesn't have to be a drawn out legal process and no specialised lawyer is needed anymore.


What's the content?

The proposal from EU Justice Commissioner VÄ›ra Jourová are basically improved (we like that!) EU rules that protect children when parents from two different EU Member States have fights over custody, access rights and child abduction once they get separated.

This is new:

The Commission was kind enough to even come up with an appealing little factsheet and a Q&A section on this, in case you want to dig deeper.


What's happening with this legislation in the future?

This is another one of those special and interesting cases: since these new rules deal with "family matters" this bill is not a regular law because it is NOT decided by the Parliament AND the Council but ONLY by the Council. It is a so-called Council Regulation (duh!) - just like the bill on "Rules for Cross-Border Divorces". All the Council has to do is ASK the Parliament for an opinion (without having to actually listen to it). The Commission sent this proposal to the Council and we will have to wait and see.


Related Bills:

Rules for cross-border divorces

Minimum standards for children accused in court

Improving the exchange of information on criminals

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