Versita

JURISDICTION IN INTERNATIONAL MATRIMONIAL MATTERS

JURGITA GRIGIENĖ
Keywords: International jurisdiction, matrimonial matters, applicable law, lis pendens, forum non conveniens ,

Abstract

This article analyses the jurisdiction of the court in matrimonial matters. The criteria of jurisdiction, the principal of lis pendens, forum non conveniens, applicable law and the influence of jurisdiction on the outcome of the case are unfolded in the article. Matrimonial law differs from country to country. In some countries there are strict rules; in other countries there are liberal rules for divorce. In different countries there are different criteria for division of joint property between spouses, and different criteria for determining child custody. Depending on which country‟s court solves matrimonial dispute, there can be different outcomes to a case because each court applies its own conflicts of law rules and determines the applicable law to the lawsuit. This essay explores the peculiarities of international jurisdiction determination rules valid in the European Union, and some worldwide tendencies of international jurisdiction. As the EC Regulation does not determine one basic rule of jurisdiction in matrimonial matters, it is possible to choose from several alternative jurisdiction criteria and start a suit in the courts of several states. The essay addresses cases in which the parties can manipulate and misuse the jurisdiction criteria due to the lis pendens principle, as well as cases in which the legal certainty and legitimate expectation of spouses are infringed upon. The essay also presents particular recommendations about how to improve present legislation by incorporating case transfer mechanism or principles of forum non conveniens.