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Last update: 17-08-2004
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Divorce - International law

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Procedures for the recognition of divorce judgments at international level

The most important international convention in this field is the 1970 Hague Convention on the recognition of divorces and legal separations.

The purpose of this convention is to facilitate, under certain conditions, the recognition in one contracting State of divorces and legal separations lawfully obtained in another contracting State.

The convention does not apply to relations between Member States of the Union, which, with the exception of Denmark, are governed by Regulation No 1347/2000. You will find more information on this subject under the heading “ Divorce - Community law” .

It does apply, on the other hand, to relations between the Member States which have ratified it (currently 8) and non-member countries which are signatories to the agreement (currently 8).

The purpose of the convention is to determine:

  • which courts have jurisdiction to rule in divorce proceedings,
  • how divorces granted in one contracting Member State should be recognised by the authorities in other contracting Member States.
The convention relates only to the recognition of judgments on divorce and legal separation. Decisions on the division of property or custody of children are not covered.

Bilateral conventions

Some Member States also have bilateral conventions with non-member countries concerning the recognition of divorce.

To obtain more information, click on the flags of Member States.

Reference documents

  • Council Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000 of 29 May 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and in matters of parental responsibility for children of both spouses
  • Convention on the recognition of divorces and legal separations (Hague Conference on Private International Law)

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Last update: 17-08-2004

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