Cross-Border Divorce And Child Custody

International Parental Child Abduction is one of the hardest things a left behind parent and children, can ever experience. Added to that stress among other things, is International Law and The Hague Convention. An absolute minefield. There is so much misinformation out there or nothing at all, as well as many inexperienced lawyers who simply have no idea how best to deal with such a case. It’s vital, exactly how it is in the recovery industry, where there are so many frauds, that you do your due diligence on lawyers who you are instructing to represent you, in the biggest and most expensive fight you will ever experience. Time is absolutely critical in IPCA cases. So we thought we would briefly touch on Brussels II Regulation and the new legislation coming into affect.


Cross-Border Divorce and Child Custody: Jurisdiction and applicable Law

Brussels II Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 is a European Regulation on jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial and parental responsibility matters, as well as in matters of child abduction within the European Union. It applies to all Member States, with the exception of Denmark.

The Regulation determines the jurisdictional criteria which apply to the above mentioned subjects.

In accordance with the same Regulation, jurisdiction is vested in the Courts of the Member State where the child is habitually resident at the time of application for child custody.

“Habitual residence” means the place where the child’s center of interests is located. In order to determine a child’s habitual residence, the following elements are significant:

  • duration and regularity of residence in a Member State;
  • conditions of and reasons for the stay within the territory of a Member State or for the move of a family;
  • child’s citizenship;
  • place of school attendance;
  • child’s family and social relations;
  • linguistic abilities.

Cross-Border Divorce and Child Custody: The new regulations of 2020

On 2 July 2019 Council Regulation (EU) 2019/1111 “on jurisdiction, the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, and on international child abduction” was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Starting from 1 August 2022 it will replace Brussels II Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 in all European Countries, with the exception of Denmark.

More in detail, it has the following aims:

  • providing a clearer and more effective legal framework in case of child abduction within the EU;
  • extending the scope of the child’s right to express his/her opinion to all the disputes in which he/she is involved;
  • avoiding special procedures for recognizing judgments delivered by Courts in Member States;
  • providing more exhaustive regulations on the circulation of out-of-court settlements adopted by public authorities (after the establishment of jurisdiction) in matters of divorce, separation, and parental responsibility;
  • providing clearer regulations on the relocation of a child in a Member State other than that in which he/she habitually resides, including the need to obtain prior approval for any relocation, except where the child resides with only one parent;
  • introducing common rules for the enforcement of judgments, in accordance with the laws of the Member State of enforcement;
  • providing clearer and more stringent rules on child abduction within the European Union.



If you have any questions or concerns regarding International Parental Child Abduction feel free to contact CARI Child Abduction Recovery International 24/7. We are always available at or by calling our CEO Adam Whittington directly +46 707834328 on Whatsapp

We don’t just talk, we are the only ones who actually recover children. It’s why experienced law firms turn to CARI for help.