Since the EU vote there has been much speculation as to the effect of Brexit. Brexit could also effect the Family Law.

Fortunately, Brexit will not affect the UK’s membership of The Hague Convention which provides children and their families with protection from international abduction between the Convention countries.

The 1980 Hague Convention will still provide a mechanism for the return of children.

These provisions will go unchanged following departure from the EU. Many of the Hague Conventions on Private International Law will apply under a no-deal scenario.

Brussels IIa is a key piece of European Legislation which sets out the rules for deciding which country will deal with any particular case.

Following Brexit, it’s not clear how the issue of enforceability and recognition will be dealt with. It may be that negotiations commence to secure agreements that reflect the current arrangements. If this cannot be achieved it will be the case that parties involved in children disputes with an international element will be required to go to the additional expense of obtaining a mirror order in the foreign jurisdiction to reflect the Order of the Court in the UK. This will of course add further expenses for the parties and will prolong proceedings

National law rules will apply to family law in the UK and in EU/EEA member states (unless otherwise stated in the guidance), because all reciprocal elements of EU law will cease to exist. In the UK they will be repealed by the UK government.

The status of ongoing cases is unclear. The rules governing the enforceability of any case decided after 29 March 2019 will cease to have effect, and the risk of parallel cases taken in multiple jurisdictions is a distinct possibility.

Until we leave the EU the current regulations will remain in force and the status quo will be remain.

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