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Greece becomes sixteenth state to sign up to EU international divorce cooperation procedure

No plans for UK to join procedure

Greece has announced its decision to join the 15 countries already participating in EU rules which allow international couples to select which country's law applies to their divorce. Under the rules, in place since June 2012, EU Member States decided to proceed with integration through the 'enhanced cooperation' procedure.

The regulation on the law applicable to divorce aims to provide assistance to weaker partners during divorce disputes. International couples are able to agree in advance which law would apply in the event of their divorce or legal separation. In case the couple cannot agree, judges will have a common formula for deciding which country's law applies. The Regulation has no effect on national divorce or marriage laws, nor does it foresee the adoption of rules affecting substantive family law of the Member States.

With almost 1 million divorces in the EU area in 2009 (Eurostat data) the solution helps couples of different nationalities, those living apart in different countries or those living together in a country other than their home country and protects them from complicated, lengthy and painful procedures.

The United Kingdom has not indicated any intention to join the scheme.

For details of the other 15 signatories, please click here.