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David Hodson on International Family Law: Jurisdictional bases in new draft divorce petitions

Date:18 MAY 2011

David HodsonAttached to the new FPR 2010 is a draft divorce petition as it was to the 1991 Rules. However it will cause confusion and extra work for lawyers and courts as it does not include the separate Article 3 Brussels II jurisdictional grounds. It simply invites a tick box to state that there is jurisdiction. This is not good enough in the many international cases now before the English courts. It should be amended in the new rules quickly.

Under English law there are several possible bases for jurisdiction for a divorce. They are found in Article 3 of Brussels II. They consist of several different and often overlapping grounds based primarily on simple or habitual residence. There is also the basis of joint domicile. It is only if none are available and no other EU state has jurisdiction that one can rely on the so-called residual ground of sole domicile.

When Brussels II...

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