The situation becomes more complicated when determining the applicable law, as the Regulation does not directly deal with conflict of laws, as it does not contain rules to determine which law applies to cross-border disputes. The general assumption is that in exercising their jurisdiction the authorities of the Contracting States shall apply their own law.

On the basis of new Commission proposals 14 Member States agreed to establish enhanced cooperation among themselves and adopted Regulation (EU) No 1259/2010 laying down rules determining the law applicable to divorce and legal separation (hereafter “the Rome III Regulation”). This was the first time that enhanced cooperation was used in the Union. By its nature, an enhanced cooperation is open to the participation of all Member States with the ultimate goal that the Rome III Regulation is taken up by all Member States.

Divorce and parental responsibility – Applicable law