On 6 March 2019, Mr Alexandre Boiché spoke to the HKFLA on “International divorce before the French Court”. Alexandre is a lawyer at the Paris Bar specialising in international family litigation, conflict of laws, and recognition of foreign judgments.
The talk focused on jurisdictional issues considered by the French Courts in the different components of a divorce including divorce itself, spousal maintenance, parental responsibility, child support obligations and the matrimonial property resume. EU Regulations require French Judges to establish competence in each case and apply the applicable law. Jurisdictional issues and forum shopping can escalate costs and tensions while parties seek out preferred fora with perceived or actual advantages to them. Under the principle of “international lis pendens” the French Courts will also suspend proceedings if matrimonial proceedings have already commenced in another court, until jurisdiction of the first court is denied (there are limits to this principle in the French Supreme Courts or if there are bilateral conventions between France and that country).
The talk by Alexandre concludes with discussions on the new 2016 European Regulation entered into force on 29 January 2019 on the validity and drafting of prenuptial agreements.