The age of integration: cross border family faces financial remedies

Authors: Cinzia Valente


The migratory phenomena of recent decades have favoured the creation of families of cross-border relevance. These are unions between a foreigner and a citizen of the State in which the family decides to live, as well as unions composed of members with different nationalities who settle in a third country. They can also be families who live in a country different from their nation of origin. An overview of the phenomenon and the identification of the problems linked to applicable law, plus the remedies offered by national regulations in the proceedings of divorce and the consequences on financial assets of couples is contemplated in the first part of this paper. A succinct analysis, in a comparative perspective, of the Italian, English and French legal systems permits drawing some conclusions about the legal evolution of important issues. These include those concerning the protection of the weaker component of the couple, and the remedies acknowledged by various legal systems in favour of this component. In the following two paragraphs, attention is focused on the existence of legal convergences on the European scenario and on the recent community regulation no. 1259/2010, about the applicable law in divorce proceedings and the consequences. Among common objectives of European systems is the will to give a prominent role to the parties’ autonomy in the distribution of assets, apart from the judicial intervention (if needed) inspired by principles of equity, either explicitly or implicitly.

Keywords: cross border families - financial remedies - integration - uniformation