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UK/EU Christmas Eve deal: what's in it about family law?

Date:6 JAN 2021
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Family lawyer

On Christmas Eve with seven days to go before the UK fully left the EU the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that a deal had been concluded with the EU. The full document incorporating the terms was published on Boxing Day morning.  It consists of about 400 pages of text along with about 850 pages of Annexes the titles of which indicate strongly there would be no family law aspects.  What within the text is relevant for family law and family lawyers? 

The answer is almost nothing.  Apart from a few parting or marginal references it is devoid of direct relevance.  Indeed the greatest relevance is what is not included. 

On New Year’s Eve the UK ceased to be a member of the Lugano Convention.  It was a member through EU membership although in practical terms only applicable with Switzerland Norway Iceland and Denmark.  It provides for reciprocal recognition and enforcement of civil judgements which in the family law context means maintenance orders needs-based provision.  Previously in the family law context within the EU this is provided by the...

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