Van den Boogaard v Laumen: ECJ 27 Feb 1997

ECJ If the reasoning of a decision rendered in divorce proceedings shows that the provision which it awards is designed to enable one spouse to provide for himself or herself, or if the needs and resources of each of the spouses are taken into consideration in the determination of its amount, the decision will be concerned with maintenance, and will therefore fall within the scope of the Convention of 27 September 1968 on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial matters, as amended by the Convention of 9 October 1978 on the Accession of the Kingdom of Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and by the Convention of 25 October 1982 on the Accession of the Hellenic Republic. On the other hand, where the provision awarded is solely concerned with dividing property between the spouses, the decision will be concerned with rights in property arising out of a matrimonial relationship and will not therefore be enforceable under the Brussels Convention. A decision which does both these things may, in accordance with Article 42 of the Brussels Convention, be enforced in part if it clearly shows the aims to which the different parts of the judicial provision correspond.
It follows that a decision rendered in divorce proceedings ordering payment of a lump sum and transfer of ownership in certain property by one party to his or her former spouse must be regarded as relating to maintenance and therefore as falling within the scope of the Convention if its purpose is to ensure the former spouse’s maintenance. The fact that in its decision the court of origin disregarded a marriage contract is of no account in this regard.

C-220/95, [1997] ECR I-1147, [1997] QB 759, 1997] 3 WLR 284, [1997] ILPr 278
Cited by:
CitedMoore v Moore CA 20-Apr-2007
The family were wealthy, and had lived for some time in Spain. On the breakdown of the marriage, the wife returned to the UK, and sought ancillary relief here, though the divorce had been in Spain. The husband argued that this should be dealt with . .
CitedRadmacher (Formerly Granatino) v Granatino SC 20-Oct-2010
The parties, from Germany and France married and lived at first in England. They had signed a pre-nuptial agreement in Germany which would have been valid in either country of origin. H now appealed against a judgment which bound him to it, . .
CitedTraversa v Freddi CA 14-Feb-2011
Jurisdiction in Cross border divorce
The parties had divorced in Italy. After the wife sought possession of her house in London where H lived, he appealed against refusal of leave to apply for an order under the 1984 Act, the court having found insufficient substantial grounds for . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

European, Family

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.161617