More and more marriages or international unions. It is not strange that a couple formed by a Belgian national married to a Spanish resident in a third country, for example France. In case of separation What law should decide how the common heritage is divided and which court should establish these measures? Solving this question is important, because the legal regimes of each country present important differences, leading to a very different distribution of goods.
So far the regulation was not homogeneous and this caused expensive and lengthy processes. As of today there are two new regulations that unify the rules of normative conflict about the economy of international couples within the European Union. Thanks to this normative the members of these couples will have it easier and clearer when deciding the applicable legislation and the competent court in their patrimonial matters.
First, they clarify what are the competent courts to assist couples when they need to manage their assets or distribute them. Further, establish what national legislation prevails in case, theoretically, the rules of several countries can be applied. Finally, there are also included provisions that guarantee the recognition and enforcement of resolutions dictated in another State.
The practical effects of this regulation are highly relevant in a context of globalization and transboundary movement, where there are more and more international couples. The economic consequences of a separation or divorce, or the inheritance of one of the members of the couple should be governed as of now by these new rules that need to be known. The regulations establish clear rules in these cases, avoiding parallel procedures in several countries in relation, for example, to the couple's bank accounts.
The novelty is that allow the members of the couple to opt for the law of the country of residence instead of the national of each of them. For this, they must go to the notary before formalizing their union. In this sense, the work of notaries is key to inform and advise conveniently to couples.
It is important to emphasize that these regulations they do not substantively regulate the patrimonial effects of international couples. Family law is exclusive to the Member States of the Union. Unify the applicable rules in case of conflict, until now very diverse according to the legislating country.
The regulation of family economic relations is very different in different legislations, so choosing to apply one or the other to the couple is a decision with important consequences. As he explained Justice Commissioner of the European Union, Vera Jourová, these new rules will facilitate and cheapen the cost of processes to divide the common heritage of more than sixteen million international couples. The authorities calculate a 350 million savings of annual euros in legal costs.
The lack of unanimity among all the Member States has meant that only apply in eighteen of them: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. These countries bring together 70% of the population of the Union.
The other States, which will continue to apply their national legislation, may adhere to these new regulations at any time.
For more information, you can access the keys to the application of the new regulations, in this article by Ana Clara Belio, managing partner of ABA Lawyers, clicking here.