Topic outline

  • Resolution roundtable discussion - implications of a 'no deal' Brexit

    roundtableResolution's International Committee has been working hard over the last couple of years to identify the issues in family law associated with the UK's exit from the European Union. We have been raising these issues with the Government and produced joint guidance for members. 

    Exiting from the EU without a deal

    Resolution held a roundtable discussion to consider the possible implications for family law practitioners of the UK exiting from the EU without a deal.

    Please note this was recorded on 6th March 2019.

    The roundtable covers the following topics:

      • Jurisdiction - divorce 
      • Jurisdiction - maintenance
      • Recognition and enforcement - divorce
      • Recognition and enforcement - maintenance
      • Intra-UK issues
      • Children - abduction
      • Children - private law
      • Children - public law

    Participants in this roundtable discussion:

    • Download the full roundtable discussion

      You can download the full version of the discussion here:

    • Sections of the roundtable discussion

      You can listen below to the specific issues covered by the roundtable.


      Jurisdiction - divorce

        • Thomas is German, Sarah is English
        • They married and lived in Germany but separate and Sarah returned to England six months ago
        • They both want to divorce in their country of origin (due to a perceived legal advantage)

      Jurisdiction - maintenance

        • Thomas is German, Sarah is English
        • They married and lived in Germany but separate and Sarah returns to England
        • Having returned to England, Sarah petitions for divorce and wants an order from the English court for Thomas to pay her maintenance

      Recognition and enforcement

      Recognition and enforcement - divorce

        • Thomas and Maria are Irish citizens living in England. That is their place of ‘habitual residence’ but both retain their Irish ‘domicile’.
        • Their marriage breaks down and one of them issues divorce proceedings in England on the basis of their shared habitual residence.
        • The divorce is granted, ancillary issues are dealt with in England.
        • Later they move back to Ireland and each wishes to remarry.
        • Naturally they want to be able to have their divorce recognised in their home country of Ireland.

      Recognition and enforcement - maintenance

        • As before, but Thomas refuses to pay the maintenance ordered by the English court
        • Sarah wants to enforce the maintenance order in Germany where she knows Thomas has assets

      Intra-UK issues


      Children - abduction

        • Thomas is French, Sarah is English.
        • They live together with their child, Charlie in France. The parents separate and disagree about where Charlie should live.
        • Sarah takes Charlie to England without Thomas’ knowledge or permission.
        • Thomas wants Charlie to be returned to France

      Children - private law

        • Thomas is French, Sarah is English.
        • They live with their child, Charlie, in England. The parents separate.
        • Sarah is given permission to move back to France with Charlie. An order is made for contact between Thomas and Charlie but Sarah disobeys the order and refuses to let Thomas see Charlie.
        • Thomas wants to enforce the order so he can see Charlie.

      Children - public law

        • Sarah is from Poland but is living in England with her baby, Charlie
        • The authorities are concerned about Sarah’s care of Charlie due to her mental health and consider she is not suitable to care for the baby so they issue proceedings to have the Charlie removed from her care.
        • Sarah has family in Poland who may be suitable to care for Charlie.

      • European Parliament - Brexit and EU family law

        This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Legal Affairs, explores the possible legal scenarios of judicial cooperation between the EU and the UK at both the stage of the withdrawal and of the future relationship in the area of family law, covering the developments up until 5 October 2018. More specifically, it assesses the advantages and disadvantages of the various options for what should happen to family law cooperation after Brexit in terms of legal certainty, effectiveness and coherence. It also reflects on the possible impact of the departure of the UK from the EU on the further development of EU family law. Finally, it offers some policy recommendations on the topics under examination.

          • Marta REQUEJO ISIDRO, Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute Luxembourg/Altair Asesores, 
          • Tim AMOS, Barrister, Collaborative Lawyer and Resolution Mediator/Altair Asesores, United Kingdom 
          • Pedro Alberto DE MIGUEL ASENSIO, Professor, Complutense University of Madrid/Altair Asesores, Spain Anatol DUTTA, 
          • Professor, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich/Altair Asesores 
          • Mark HARPER, Partner at Hughes Fowler Carruthers, Academy Court, United Kingdom/Altair Asesores