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EU Judgment in Case C-289/20 IB – Habitual residence of a spouse – Divorce
25 November 2021
Thursday 25 November
(Extract from the Opinion of AG Manuel Campos Sánchez-Bordona)
In the context of judicial cooperation in civil matters, facilitated first by the Treaty of Maastricht and then by the Treaty of Amsterdam, the European Union has, in the last years of the 20th century, taken up the problems of family law linked to the phenomenon of integration.
As regards jurisdiction in matrimonial matters, a first Convention, which has not entered into force, was followed by Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000, which was repealed by Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003, an instrument currently in force.
The Court has interpreted Article 3 of Regulation 2201/2003 in the course of several references for preliminary rulings. Unless I am mistaken, none of these judgments of the Court has dealt with the consequences that the admission, for one (or both) spouses, of a “habitual residence” that is dual or even multiple, might have for the interpretation of the Regulation.
This reference for a preliminary ruling will thus enable the Court to examine a question that has already arisen in other areas, but has not yet been decided in matrimonial matters. The answer will require, first of all, a delimitation of the concept of “habitual residence” when it is used to determine international jurisdiction in divorce, legal separation or marriage annulment cases.