International Divorce & Family Law: Luxembourg
As international family lawyers we represent clients from Luxembourg living in the UK who are going through divorce. We also act for people who may have got married in Luxembourg, whose spouse is from the country or who have some other link to the country. Divorce law differs widely from country to country. Here we discuss aspects of Luxembourgian family law that may affect your divorce settlement if you have a connection to the country.
Divorce Grounds In Luxembourg
There are in the region of 1000 divorces a year in Luxembourg and half of these involve international couples. In 2018 the government overhauled divorce law, removing fault as a ground for divorce and simplifying the process. The two grounds for divorce on Luxembourg are now:
- Mutual consent – When both spouses are able to agree child arrangements, spousal and child maintenance and property division
- Irretrievable breakdown – If one spouse applies for divorce and continues with the process after a cooling off period elapses. Both spouses can apply for divorce under this ground as well – so long as they agree to divorce but differ only on financial issues or child arrangements
Property Division In Luxembourg
In Luxembourg the starting point for property division on divorce is that property acquired after marriage is divided equally while property held before the marriage or inherited is held solely by the spouse who acquired it. Couples can hold all property jointly but they must agree this before or during the marriage in a marriage contract.
Maintenance Payments In Luxembourg
Maintenance of one spouse by the other may be ordered but it can’t be paid for longer than the duration of the marriage except in exceptional circumstances. It is based on the needs of the receiving spouses and the courts in Luxembourg are not known for their generosity. It’s not unusual for a spouse to receive only the basic level of social security in maintenance payments per month.
Child Arrangements In Luxembourg
Rules governing child arrangements were revised in 2018. The default position is now that both parents share joint parental authority following divorce and alternative custody is permitted if in the best interests of the child. In 2018 certain rights were also granted to grandparents and children are now able to petition the family court directly in limited circumstances.
Advice On Divorce In Luxembourg
We’ve mentioned the less generous approach to maintenance by judges in Luxembourg compared to their British counterparts. For this and other reasons many people prefer to divorce in the UK despite having close connections to Luxembourg. If you wish to start proceedings in the UK you should bear in mind that it’s important to act quickly. If your spouse starts proceedings in Luxembourg before you issue a divorce petition in the UK it’s likely that the divorce and all related matters will be decided by the judges in Luxembourg.
Here at Brookman we advise UK nationals resident in Luxembourg and individuals with children in Luxembourg or with other connections to the country.
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