Blog: Leicester law firm explores the impact of Brexit on cross-border divorces – In Your Area

Pictured above: Layla Babadi, legal director and solicitor in the family law team at Nelsons law firm

Submitted by Manisha Sodera

A Leicester law firm has been discussing the impact of Brexit on cross-border divorces to understand how it will affect legal proceedings.

Law firm, Nelsons, said couples whose divorce involves a UK-EU cross-border element must consider the potential impact.

This could include cases involving the jurisdiction where the separation takes place or the recognition and enforcement of certain orders.

Divorce laws in England and Wales will continue to abide by national legislation, meaning there will be no substantial changes in legislation as a direct result of Brexit.

The recently published House of Commons briefing paper ‘The effect of Brexit on getting divorced’ provides a summary of the rules for proceedings.

This includes circumstances concerning residents or nationals of EU Member States but does not cover any family law matters that relate to children or maintenance payments – the document will only apply to divorce.

Layla Babadi, legal director and solicitor in the family law team at Nelsons, said: “Under pre-existing laws, divorce proceedings with an international aspect are particularly complicated, as financial settlements and other outcomes differ from country to country.

“One situation may produce a different result, depending on where the divorce takes place, which can impact the divide in property, finance, and general belongings, as not all courts are the same across the world.”

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So what are the previous international divorce laws?

Layla said: “Under pre-existing laws, English and Welsh courts had the jurisdiction to rule on divorce proceedings based upon the separating parties’ domicile and/or habitual residence.

“Domicile is a legal point, which takes into account not only where you were born, but also where you are living now and what your intentions are for the future. Habitual residence refers to where you live and are based for the majority of the time.”

Consideration is often needed to be given according to the country’s divorce proceedings, specifically which nation’s courts have the jurisdiction to hear the proceedings and how the judgement of one country is enforced and recognised in another.

Layla said: “EU member states operate under the Brussels IIa provisions and the Maintenance Regulation.

“This means the courts of another member state must halt any additional proceedings until the jurisdiction of the relevant member state can be determined.”

Although, in the main, divorce judgements in one EU Member State are recognised in another EU Member State without the need for any special procedure.

What are the divorce proceedings like after Brexit?

Layla said: “Following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, The Jurisdiction and Judgements Regulations 2019 came into effect and applies to all new divorce proceedings issued after 11pm on December 31 2020.”

The new regulations replace:

  • The existing Brussels IIa legislation for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland
  • The Maintenance Regulation for the UK
  • Provisions in UK legislation that implemented the above EU regulations.

The rules relating to the recognition of divorces will now be governed by the 1970 Hague Divorce Recognition Convention.

As a result, UK divorces will be recognised by countries which have signed up to the convention. This will also apply the other way round with the UK recognising divorces from other Hague Convention countries.

Layla said: “Only 15 countries across the world have signed up to the convention, 12 of which are EU member states.

“Therefore, for countries who are not signed up, the recognition of English or Welsh divorce will be dependent upon their national law.”

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Blog: Biden’s sanctions, Bezos on unions, Brexit moves & Berlin rent cap –

Biden orders fresh Russia sanctions

Joe Biden hit Moscow with new economic sanctions in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in US elections and the Solar Winds cyberattack on American government agencies and corporations. The measures target “16 entities and 16 individuals” and 6 Russian companies. In addition, 10 diplomats at the Russian embassy in Washington will be expelled, and Biden barred US financial institutions from trading in Russian government bonds. Moscow has denied involvement in the cyberattacks and that it tried to influence elections. A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said that “the response to sanctions will be inevitable”. Sources: Bloomberg, CNBC, Financial Times, The Guardian and NPR.

Bezos comments on Amazon union vote

In his last letter to shareholders as CEO, Jeff Bezos wrote that “I think we need to do a better job for our employees,” despite Amazon workers recently rejecting a unionisation vote in the US state of Alabama by a wide margin. Sources: BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC and The Guardian.

Berlin rent cap overturned

Germany’s constitutional court struck down the Berlin state government’s rent control bill. The controversial legislation–meant to keep housing affordable, but criticised by landlords for discouraging investment–froze rent on most Berlin apartments at their July 2019 levels for five years. But the judges in Karlsruhe said there already was a federal rent law, which state authorities could not overstep. Sources: DW, Financial Times, The Guardian and The Local.

European Parliament moves toward ratifying EU-UK trade deal

Two European Parliament committees voted in favour of the proposed post-Brexit trade deal between the EU and UK, despite MEPs saying that the British government is not complying with existing provisions on Northern Ireland. No date has been set for the final plenary vote, which is meant to take place by the end of this month. Sources: BBC, Euractiv, Financial Times and Reuters.

Brexit hits City of London harder than expected: thinktank

At least 440 financial firms have shifted operations from Britain to the EU–representing roughly 7,400 jobs and more than £1trn (€1.2trn) in assets–due to Brexit. That’s according to a report published today by New Financial, a London thinktank. Out of 1,448 EU financial firms temporarily registered to operate in the UK, only “around 300 to 500 mainly smaller firms” are expected to apply for permanent authorisation. Sources: Bloomberg, Financial News and Reuters.

Blackrock earnings & AUM up sharply

The world’s largest fund manager, Blackrock, posted first quarter net income of $1.2bn (up by 16% year-on-year) on $4.4bn in revenue (up by 18.6%), and said assets under management rose to $9trn (compared to $6.47trn). Sources: Financial Times, Reuters, Seeking Alpha and Wall Street Journal.

Citi to exit consumer banking in several markets; Q1 profits triple

Citigroup will shutter retail operations in 13 markets, mostly in the Asia-Pacific region but also in Bahrain, Poland and Russia. It will focus on 4 wealth management hubs instead. On Thursday, the American banking giant posted first quarter net income of $7.94bn, up from $2.54bn the previous year. Sources: Bloomberg, CNBC, Financial Times and Reuters.

NZ climate finance bill

Earlier this week, New Zealand’s government introduced a draft law that would require asset managers, banks and insurers to disclose the impact of climate change on their business and the impact of their investments on climate change, starting in 2023. Sources: BBC, CNN, Investor Daily and Reuters.

Regulation best way to boost green lending: poll

Changing bank capital reserve rules would be the most effective way to push lenders towards climate action, according to a survey by Climate Safe Lending Network, a not-for-profit backed by financial outfits. Survey respondents included the Bank of England, European Central Bank and an unnamed UK regulator, as well as big banks such as ABN Amro, BBVA and Piraeus Bank. Sources: Reuters and Law360.

Pandemic outlook in Asia

Coronavirus rates are rising across much of Asia. The Straits Times surveyed the situation in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, India and the Philippines. Separately, the IMF increased its 2021 economic forecast for most of Asia, per Reuters, except several Southeast Asian countries, per CNBC.

Third vaccine jab probably needed: Pfizer CEO

The chief executive of Pfizer, which makes a covid-19 vaccine, said people will likely need a third booster dose, to be administered 6 to 12 months after their first vaccination. Sources: ABC News, CNBC, CNN and Financial Times.

Luxembourg schools get self-test kits

The education ministry will provide rapid antigen tests for the coronavirus to Luxembourg schools after the Easter holidays, with students and staff to be offered one free test per week, on a voluntary basis. Sources: Delano, Paperjam and 100,7.

Lenert returns on Monday

The health minister, Paulette Lenert (LSAP), returns to her post on 18 April. Lenert has been on sick leave since she was briefly hospitalised (for unclear reasons) on 23 March. Sources: L’essentiel and RTL.

Schrassig prison under partial lockdown

Luxembourg’s penitentiary, in Shrassig, has placed limits on the movement of inmates and on external visits after 15 prisoners tested positive for the coronavirus. The prison had only recorded one case before March 2021. Sources: Delano and RTL.

Latest Luxembourg covid-19 update

Out of 8,661 PCR tests conducted on 14 April, 215 Luxembourg residents were positive. That is a rate of 34.34 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants (compared to 61.81 on 7 April). The reproduction rate was 1.22, above the target threshold of 1.00 (compared to 0.63). There were 117 covid-19 patients in hospital (compared to 140), including 33 in intensive care (compared to 32). One person died due to the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the national total to 785. A cumulative 147,515 vaccine doses have been administered, including 40,352 people who have received two jabs. Sources: Delano, health ministry and Paperjam.

Instagram sorry about harmful content

Instagram apologised for showing weight loss content to users with eating disorders. The social media outfit said it was a “mistake” and it has corrected its algorithm. Sources: BBC, The Guardian, Harper’s Bazaar and The Next Web.

France tightens age of consent law

French MPs approved a bill that defines sex with someone below the age of consent, 15, as rape. Sources: DW, France 24 and Reuters.

Chauvin will not testify

Derek Chauvin, the white ex-police officer accused of killing George Floyd, a Black motorist, will not take the stand. Chauvin’s trial in Minneapolis was adjourned until Monday, when closing arguments commence. Chauvin pled not guilty to all charges. Sources: BBC, The Guardian, NPR and Reuters.


Friday 16 April, 11:30am-1pm: The Confucius Institute at the University of Luxembourg hosts a lecture on “The Chinese Space Programme: Ambitions, achievements and perspectives”. Friday 16 April, 7pm-6pm: The British Ladies Club holds its monthly evening cocktail (via Zoom) and you don’t have to be British to participate (but you do need to sign up in advance by emailing [email protected]). Saturday 17-Sunday 18 April: Luxcon, Science Fiction & Fantasy Society Luxembourg’s annual convention. Monday 19-Thursday 22 April: Space Resources Week 2021 looks at the business and technical challenges of “in-situ resource utilization”. Tuesday 20 April, 5pm: “Will the Luxembourg partnerships survive?” fund legal webinar organised by Conférence Saint Yves and Ireland Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.

Here are 5 science & technology stories you may have missed

Astronomy: Nasa is reviewing potential designs for a huge orbiting telescope that could detect atmospheric composition and other conditions (that could indicate signs of life) on exoplanets, per Air & Space Magazine. Covid-19: US regulators paused delivery of the Johnson & Johnson jab, which was linked with an extremely rare form of blood clot, not to adjust the vaccine but so that medical professionals are prepared to treat side-effects, per Ars TechnicaPayments and streaming services: American rappers overwhelmingly prefer Cash App over Venmo, which perhaps is why Twitter bought Tidal, per GQPalaeontology: Since we don’t have pictures of dinosaurs, Popular Science explained how we know what they look like. Palaeontology: Edestus giganteous had a jaw and teeth that looked like a circular saw, per Smithsonian magazine.

Luxembourg places 4th in passport index

The grand duchy has the world’s 4th most useful passport, providing (covid restrictions aside) visa-free travel to 190 countries, according to a regular survey by Henley & Partners, a consultancy. Luxembourg ranked behind Japan, Singapore and Germany & South Korea (tied in third place). Sources: CNN, Delano, Straits Times and Stuff.

Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Aaron Grunwald