Did you know when voting in the 2016 EU referendum that leaving the EU with a no deal could result in your divorce no longer being recognised in other EU member states?

The existing divorce jurisdiction is currently governed by EU law. After March 29, it will simply continue as national law. However, it may not be recognised by those 15 states who did not sign or ratify the Hague Convention.

The Hague Convention allows UK court orders to be enforceable in other member states. The member states that are signatories to the Hague Convention are likely to continue to recognise a divorce in England and Wales but there are no guarantees as far as the remaining 15 states are concerned.

I am getting divorced - what does this mean for me?

If you are a national of those 15 countries, you may have to issue divorce proceedings in your country of origin for your divorce to be recognised there. This also affects assets you may own abroad, such as property.

If you are concerned that your divorce may not be recognised in those member states, it would be worth trying to obtain the decree absolute before the UK leave the EU.

A decree nisi is a provisional decree of divorce granted by the court if it is satisfied that you have met the requirements to obtain a divorce. This means your marriage still exists and you are not yet divorced. A decree absolute is the legal document that ends your marriage. You need to wait at least 43 days after the date of the decree nisi before you can apply for a decree absolute.

  • Carly Weyman is an associate in the private client team at award-winning law firm VWV, which has offices in Clarendon Road, Watford.