Press Release

Divorce (‘Rome III’)

Maintaining Equal Opportunities


Couples wishing to divorce will be able to choose the forum and applicable law in divorce matters. “It is important that each spouse receives ample and objective advice from a qualified professional”, said Mr Klaus Woschnak on 19 March 2007. “The weaker spouse should have the same opportunities as his or her partner.

The German presidency of the Council of the EU is currently studying the ‘Rome III’ proposal for a Regulation concerning jurisdiction and the applicable law in divorce matters.

It would appear that negotiations in Brussels are heading in the right direction”, said Mr Woschnak. “The CNUE advocates a single piece of legislation for the choice of the forum and applicable law. Insufficient understanding of the chosen law can have harmful consequences for one or both spouses seeking a divorce. This is why the CNUE wishes to highlight the need for the choice of the forum and the applicable law to be sufficiently documented”, said Mr Woschnak.

  • In its position of 15 March 2007, the CNUE calls for:
  • equal opportunities to be maintained for the two spouses by providing them with ample and objective information when they choose the forum and the applicable law in the sensitive area of divorce;
  • the risk of ‘forum shopping’ or ‘law shopping’ to be removed through a Community instrument;
  • information to be provided by an independent third party before the choice of the forum and applicable law in divorce matters;
  • a high level of legal certainty to be created for citizens;
  • the future Community instrument to be based on the principle of dispute prevention.

The CNUE President believes that there is hope that the German presidency of the Council of the EU will develop the European Commission’s proposal of 17 July 2006 in the direction proposed by the CNUE.

The CNUE in brief:

The Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE) is an official body representing the notarial profession in dealings with European institutions. Speaking for the profession, it expresses the joint decisions of its members to the institutions of the European Union.

The CNUE includes 21 notarial organisations in the European Union. The European notariats are represented in the CNUE by the presidents of the national notariats. The CNUE operates under the authority of a President, the CNUE’s spokesperson, who has tenure for one year.

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