The EU Regulation lays down three formal requirements that must be met if an agreement on the choice of law is to be valid: the agreement must be in writing, it must be dated, and it must be signed by the parties.
The Regulation also gives states the right to lay down additional formal requirements and clarifies how such rules are to be applied depending on the situation of the spouses.
There are no provisions in French law regarding the formal requirements applicable to agreements on the choice of law in divorce or legal separation cases. Consequently, France has not made a declaration under Article 17(1)(a).
If they so wish, therefore, the spouses can choose to seek professional help from the person they believe is best placed to advise them.
The Regulation states that an agreement between the spouses choosing the law applicable to a divorce or legal separation may be concluded and modified at any time, but at the latest at the time a court is seized.
However, if the law of the forum so provides, the applicable law can also be designated by the spouses before the court during the proceedings (Article 5(2) and (3)).
This option is not expressly provided for in French law. This explains why France has not made a declaration under Article 17(1)(b).
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