Having read the European Commission’s proposal for enhanced cooperation in the area of cross-border divorce, the Notaries of Europe would like to support this initiative which will contribute to reinforcing the legal certainty of European citizens. The Notaries of Europe also ask that Member States which have not yet expressed themselves (or which have not yet joined in with the request) take part in the enhanced cooperation procedure in the interest of European citizens.
By allowing spouses to choose the applicable law to regulate their marriage difficulties, this proposal will put an end to ‘judicial tourism’ and will enable the spouse deemed ‘the weakest’ to benefit from the same opportunities as their partner. Mr Roberto Barone, President of the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE) recalls that “unawareness of the chosen law may have detrimental consequences for a spouse or both spouses seeking a divorce. This is why it is necessary that the choice of court and applicable law be the subject of prior information”.
Every day, in their studies, the Notaries of Europe come to the same conclusion: more and more citizens live, study, marry, divorce or pass away in a Member State other than their own, which is not without legal complications. For example, each year, within the Union, almost 140 000 divorces involving spouses of different nationalities are pronounced. Such situations require the help of an independent professional, capable of advising spouses on the applicable provisions which can vary depending on the Member States. In order to do this, Mr Barone emphasises the importance for each spouse to call on a “qualified professional such as the notary, who can advise them in a complete and impartial manner”.