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No Deal Brexit Maintenance

Joanna Gardner explains that the Government has published an article explaining how family law cases would change if the UK leaves the EU with ‘no deal’

In the article she summarises the Government’s plans with respect to different areas of family law


Currently and up to 29 March 2019, the UK applies EU rules to determine:

  • which country's courts hear a case raising cross-border issues with other EU countries (jurisdiction)
  • which country's laws apply (applicable law)
  • how a judgment obtained in one EU country should be recognised and enforced in another (recognition and enforcement)
  • how cross-border legal procedural matters are handled (such as taking evidence in one country for use in proceedings in another).

Currently the key EU regulations are Brussels IIa  and the Maintenance Regulation (which covers jurisdictional rules for maintenance decisions and the recognition and enforcement of related judgments).

The UK is already (unaffected by EU membership) a contracting state to a number of Hague Conventions on family law, which cover many of the same areas as the EU Regulations.

In future where this is the case, the government states that it would repeal the existing EU rules and switch to the relevant Hague Conventions. Including:

  • maintenance recognition and enforcement
  • central authority cooperation.

The UK would take the necessary steps to formally re-join the 2007 Hague Maintenance Convention (in which the UK currently participates because of its EU membership). It is anticipated that it would come into force by 1 April 2019. Parties would need to consider the implications for any new maintenance applications made during the gap in coverage between 29 March and 1 April 2019. Those affected might want to take legal advice about how this will impact on them.

For decisions in relation to the jurisdiction for maintenance cases, the UK government would intend broadly to adopt the position prior to the introduction of the Maintenance Regulation and other EU rules. The jurisdiction grounds of this would vary depending on the type of maintenance sought and in which part of the UK the case is brought.
Broadly speaking, cases ongoing on exit day will continue to proceed under the current rules. However, the government cannot guarantee that EU courts will follow the same principle, nor that EU courts will accept or recognise any judgments stemming from these cases. Individuals with cases in progress on 29 March are encouraged to seek legal advice on how this may affect them.

The article is set out at:

If you have questions about any family matter that affects you then Joanna Gardner would be pleased to advise you. Her contact details are:

 or tel: 01905723561

Added: 22 Oct 2018 10:06

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