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INTERNATIONAL FAMILY LAW

Family law conflicts are increasingly related to foreign countries, be it because one or both spouses have a foreign nationality or one or more of the parties involved have their place of residence abroad or want to relocate there. Globalization means that more and more people find themselves in situations for which not only one legal system applies.

In such cases it is important as a lawyer to be familiar with European and international legal provisions, some of which overlay German legal provisions.

In these cases, it must be clarified in advance which court has jurisdiction under international private law and which legal system is applicable in terms of substantive law. If a German family court may have jurisdiction, foreign family law may still apply in the proceedings before the German court. In some cases, courts in different contracting or member states may have jurisdiction for family court applications, so that ultimately the court to which the corresponding application was first made becomes competent.

When determining the amount of maintenance claims or when enforcing maintenance claims, special provisions of European law are important. There are often considerable new regulations in the legal area of the European Union.

If a child is taken to another country without the consent of the other parent, speed is of the essence and a return application is required under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (also known as the Hague Child Abduction Convention, or HKÜ). This multilateral agreement concerns and regulates cases of international child abduction among the contracting states of this agreement.

Tanja Schuhknecht