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In an ever more international world, the issue of divorce often implies a foreign element, resulting from the different nationalities of the spouses , the location of their estates or their country of residence. European Regulation EC 2201/2003 provides for a choice of jurisdictions in divorce matters and this has encouraged the phenomenon of divorce shopping.
Most national laws provide for a contractual system whereby spouses can organise, to some extent , the financial consequences of marriage breakdown. Often these contractual agreements will be drafted pursuant to the law of the country where the marriage is to be celebrated or/and where the spouses reside. The difficulty in the case of divorce is that such contracts may not be recognised or enforced by another country which may have jurisdiction over the breakdown of the marriage of the parties.
It has therefore become increasingly important to understand the specific requirements of these countries in relation to the recognition and enforcement of the contractual documents involved, in order to ensure their validity in the eventuality of a divorce taking place in one of these countries.
With contributions from a number of fellows of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (IAML) in jurisdictions such as France, Australia, England, Canada, Switzerland and the United States, this work looks at how each individual jurisdiction approaches pre-nuptial agreements and also considers the thornier issue of agreements which cover couples involved in more than one jurisdiction.