The European Council Regulation No. 4/2009 of December 2008 in regards to jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters related to maintenance obligations is now in forced.

As per its Article 76, this Regulation applies from 18 June 2011.

This Council Regulation is of great importance as it will determine the applicable law, the Court that will have jurisdiction and the way to enforce a Court Order regarding the maintenance obligations arising from a family, relationship, parentage, and/or affinity, i.e: maintenance to children, spouses, etc.

This regulation will be applicable also in Ireland since this country gave notice of their wish to adopt and apply it, however it will not be applicable in the UK.

In the countries of the European Union bound by the Hague Convention or those that have decided to be part of this regulation, such as Ireland, any decision for maintenance obligations or Court Orders granted by a country member of the European Union (EU) part of this agreement, will be AUTOMATICALLY AND DIRECTLY RECOGNISED AND ENFORCED just with the Certificate of the Court that granted the Order and without the need for any further process. However, it is important to make sure that the respondent has been notified about the existence of the claim.

As previously stated, the UK has decided not to be part of this Regulation so any decisions and Court Orders granted in relation to maintenances in the UK can not be directly recognised or executed in another Country of the European Union, therefore for the recognition and execution of these UK Orders a process will need to be followed in case there is an opposition to it by the respondent.

In this process the reasons for a UK Court Order not to be recognized in another UE country are:
(a) If such a recognition is manifestly contrary to public policy.
(b) Where it was given by default of appearance, if the defendant was not served with the document in sufficient time to enable him to arrange for his defence.
(c) If it is irreconcilable with a decision granted in a dispute between the same parties in a EU country or in some cases when it is not compatible with an earlier decision given in another Country ( even if it is not part of the EU).ETC.

Therefore as per above, from the 18 of June 2011 the recognition and enforcement of Court Orders for maintenance obligations arising from a family relationship, parentage, marriage or affinity, will have a new instrument which aims to make the process simpler and faster in the countries obliged by this Regulation. This Regulation needs to be considered if you want to get divorce in Spain or in England ( United Kingdom) or if you want to execute a maintenance court order in another country of the EU.

The information provided on this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.

White & Baos
Tel: 966 426 185
White & Baos 2011 – All rights reserved.