Mr. Rebates

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Europe Considers International Divorce Laws

Divorce for most is a complicated matter with judges, courts and attorneys to determine who gets what. But the divorce process might prove a little more difficult for international relationships because different countries have different laws.

Take Europe for example—a continent rich with different cultures and countries right next door to each other. Many feel international divorce is an important issue to tackle.

According to an Associated Foreign Press article, the European Union (EU) wants to create a law to govern such international divorces.

The EU was developed to create standardized laws for different countries who joined the union. It now consists of 27 member nations across the continent.
Of these 27 member nations, there are over 350,000 international marriages in a year—170,000 of those ends in divorce.

Only 10 member nations agreed to set up a unified divorce law among the organization. So the group intends to use their concept of “enhanced cooperation” in order to pass a law into the EU’s legislation.
This concept of “enhanced cooperation” was created by the EU’s 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam. This allows eight of the member states to apply EU laws to it members of the organization and to proceed without the opposition’s consent. This occurs if the group at large cannot unanimously agree on the legislation.
The 10 states that are in favor of the law include: Austria, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Spain and Romania.

Some of the countries that oppose are Britain, Finland and Sweden.
Those who oppose have said they might be open to the idea of common divorce laws amongst the organization. But their main issue was the group of 10 invoking the “enhanced cooperation.” Some feel that it should only be used sparingly and for very important issues.

Supporters hope a common divorce law will create less confusion with divorce proceedings as EU members have inconsistent marriage and divorce laws. They hope to determine which nations’ laws should be applied when citizens of two different member states want to get a divorce. They also said it will help settle important issues such as division of assets and child custody.
Supporters said that their goal is not to divide the EU, but to have all members join together to determine a common divorce law.

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