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Last update: 17-08-2004
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Divorce - General Information

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This page is now obsolete. The update is currently being prepared and will be available in the European e-Justice Portal.

Divorce is not just about getting separated.

Divorce dissolves the marriage bond and the matrimonial property scheme, which may have several legal consequences.

In most Member States, therefore, divorce must be granted by a judicial authority, which will also decide, where applicable, on:
  • questions of parental responsibility,
  • the division of property and the dissolution of the matrimonial property scheme,
  • maintenance to be paid by one spouse to the other or to children.
Divorce may be requested by both spouses (divorce by mutual agreement or joint request) or by one of them.

However, the practicalities of procedure and the admissible grounds for divorce vary from one Member State to another.

By clicking on the flags of the Member States you will obtain useful information on divorce procedures and, where applicable, other procedures which sever or modify the marriage bond, such as annulment and legal separation.

Since 1 March 2001, divorces granted in one Member State have been more readily recognised in the others. The regulation governing recognition of divorce also contains provisions on the competence of the courts.

You can obtain more information on this subject by clicking on the “Community Law” icon.
You can also obtain information on international conventions on divorce by clicking on the “International Law” icon.

Last update: 17-08-2004

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