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Brexit is not in the interest of the family lawyer

Since 2001, when Brussels I regulation arrived on our shores as the first attempt to synchronise laws between EU countries, family lawyers have tended to greet each new EU convention with some hesitation and suspicion.

5 April 2016

So, with a referendum on the EU on the horizon, it is a good time to consider the impact on family law issues in the event of Brexit, which brings into consideration what benefits we have and what we could lose.

Despite our EU membership, there are still differences between UK family law and that of Europe. The fundamental difference is that European law is based on property regimes with the intention to keep property in the family, whereas English law recognises the individual's right to their property and to do what they like with it. So far as divorce law is concerned, this means the English court has the power to transfer property or redistribute capital, which its European friends do not. This is why London is widely regarded as the divorce capital of the world. The outcome of the referendum will have no impact on this key difference.

Currently, a two-tier system of law exists: t...

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