Belgium is at the heart of the European Union and accordingly is party to all the relevant European regulations. After many years as a ‘hold out’, it is also signatory to the Hague Convention on the International Aspects of Child Abduction.
The divorce procedure involves a compulsory preliminary reconciliation stage. Whilst plainly the intentions are good, it is frequently simply an irritating delay to an inevitable process.
Issues relating to children are dealt with, if necessary, in a separate procedure. As with all EU countries, the determinate is what is in the best interest of the child. For many years, Belgium particularly favoured children living between the households of both parents. However, the pendulum appears to be swinging back.
Financial provision is usually covered by the prenuptial choice of regime. Otherwise a community of property regime applies. Maintenance is not regarded as generous. It is taxable in the hands of the recipient, but the payer receives a deduction, so in this respect it is more akin to the US treatment than the English.
We are specialist international divorce lawyers and family solicitors and we advise clients who are either UK-based but originate from Belgium, or are living outside of the UK but have a connection with England or Wales.
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