New European rules for every couples now applicable ! Two Europeans regulations put into effect the 29 January 2019.

On June, 24th 2016,18 countries of the European Union (1) signed two new European rules, 2016/1103 and 2016/1104, related to marital regulations and registered partnerships. These rules were effective as of January, 29th 2019, not only for all new marriages and partnerships, but also for any change registered from that date. As such, the default law which takes precedence regarding spousal relationships, whether between themselves or with a third party, is the one of their primary habitual country of residence. However, the spirit of these laws also introduces a freedom of choice among 4 possibilities for couples. They may now opt for the legal system from either the country of residence or the country of nationality of eitherof them. The law selected is not limited to European Union countries, but may rather be from a Third State, since the application field of the new rules is global. As an example, if a French person marries a Belgian one in France while having his/her residence in Monaco, he/she has the right to designate Monaco law to govern their partnership, despite Monaco not having signed these European rules. As a conclusion, couples can now freely select or change the law applicable to their matrimonial or property regime. This is an additional layer to take into account within other existing rules (2) such as case law, The Hague convention for matrimonial property regimes, … In light of the complexity of the new European Union regulations, each individual case requires a dedicated, tailor-made and comprehensive review by a professional specialist. (1) France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Spain, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Sweden. (2) New texts do not overrule the existing ones governing partnerships signed before January, 29th 2019.