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Cross-border disputes on family matters form part of the everyday litigation in the EU, with a number of 140,000 international divorces per year. Every time a case of a marriage breakdown involves more than one country, the legal analysis must start with an assessment of the State whose law shall apply. The EU has adopted the so-called ‘Rome III Regulation’, which provides uniform rules determining the law applicable to divorce and legal separation. It allows international couples to agree in advance on the applicable law, and in the absence of such a choice made by the spouses, it lays down common rules according to which the court determines the applicable law.

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