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International marriages 

International marriages 

Author: Pierrette Kuipers 


On the 29th of January 2019 a new European law entered into force to determine the applicable law for international marriages: de Europese huwelijksvermogensrechtverordening (European matrimonial property law regulation). 



An example. You are married in France and both, you and your partner, do have the French nationality. You and you partner live in France and after two years of marriage, you decide to move to the Netherlands. After moving to the Netherlands, you decide to divorce. You would like to divorce in the Netherlands, but is the Dutch court competent to judge about the distribution of your assets? Also over the assets which are still in France? The question is what law applies to the division.  


For whom? 

The new law applies to you if: 

  • you are married on or before the 29th of January 2019 or made a choice of law for the matrimonial property law of a certain country after January 29, 2019; 
  • you live in one of the 19 European member states. These are the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Italy, Croatia, Luxembourg, Austria, Malta, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Sweden. 


Have you made a choice of law? 

It is possible to make a choice of law before the marriage which is applicable on your matrimonial property. You can opt for the following legal systems: 

  • the law of one of the European member states from which you or you and your partner are resident; 
  • the law of one of the European member states from which you or you and you partner do have the nationality.  


Haven’t you made a choice of law? 

If you haven’t made a choice of law, the new ‘Europese Huwelijksvermogensrechtverordening’ (European matrimonial property law regulation) will answer the question what the applicable law will be. If option I is not applicable, you move on to option II et cetera.  

  • Option I: Your common place of residence; 
  • Option II: Your common nationality before marriage; 
  • Option III: Country with the closest connection. 


Any questions? 

Do you have any questions about this blog or about the new regulation? Then contact our family lawyer! Willeke Krieger, LL.M (krieger@tlcadvocaten.nl)