Family Law and Brexit

Family law will be affected by Brexit and the government will have to consider what changes to national law will need to be made to fill any vacuums.

Currently, whether or not you have the right to file for divorce in England and Wales depends upon EU law. We are not expecting any major changes to how this works in practice but nevertheless new law will be required.

Some couples have the right to issue divorce proceedings in more than one country. Again this is currently contained in EU law and that has created an unhealthy ‘first past the post is the victor’ culture. This can have an undesirable outcome, particularly where certain financial orders are not available in both countries. Maintenance regulation and international children issues are often the subject of Hague Convention laws and may not require new law. In fact, having the ability to access the Hague Convention over EU law may well benefit people in child abduction cases.

Many elements of family law enshrined in EU law are sensible and practical and the government is likely to want to legislate in similar terms but the door is open to new ideas and only time will tell what new frontiers family law will cross.

Nicola Furmston is a solicitor and head of the Family team at Barker Gotelee.

Family Solicitors in Ipswich – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email