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In June 2016, the European Union adopted a Regulation concerning the property regimes of international marriages aimed at helping couples manage their property on a daily basis and to divide it in case of divorce or of the death of one member. The Regulation was adopted under the procedure of enhanced cooperation by 18 EU countries: Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Luxembourg, Germany, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Austria, Bulgaria, Finland and Cyprus. Other EU countries can join the Regulation any time (in such case the country will also have to join the Regulation concerning the property consequences of registered partnerships).
The Regulation will provide international marriages with legal certainty and reduce the costs of legal proceedings as couples will know which country’s courts should deal with matters concerning their property and which national law should apply to resolve such matters. The Regulation will also facilitate the recognition and enforcement of decisions on property matters given in another EU country. As a couple's property must be divided in case of divorce or death, the Regulation will also facilitate the application of EU rules on cross-border divorces and successions. The Regulation will apply as from 29 January 2019.
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