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Court Refuses to Reopen French Maintenance Agreement | DFA Law Northampton Solicitors News

PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.

It is sometimes tempting to try to have an agreement reconsidered and the UK sees more than its fair share of family law cases with an international element, where one party to an agreement made abroad seeks to revisit the issues because of the comparatively egalitarian approach to the division of assets that applies here.

Recently, the High Court heard just such a case. It involved a couple who were divorced, who had previously agreed that all matters relating to child maintenance would be agreed under French law. Neither of the two parents was English, the mother being French and her ex-husband Algerian. They duly made an agreement which was sealed under a French court order with an exclusive jurisdiction clause.

The ex-wife later moved to England and sought to have her child maintenance needs reconsidered by the English courts.

The attempt failed, however, as the court ruled that the exclusive jurisdiction clause in the French agreement prevented her from having the matter heard again by an English court.

Says Prester Coleman, Partner at DFA Law, “Family break-ups with an international element present particular problems. We can advise on all the related issues, including assisting in financial negotiations.”

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