03 November 2018

Happier divorces envisaged in Luxembourg

The numbers of unrepresented parties in family cases have risen from 38% to 52% over 2013.

Luxembourg has reformed its divorce laws

New divorce laws came into effect in Luxembourg on 01 November. The reforms are designed to make divorce procedures quicker, more efficient, more harmonious and less expensive.

Fault is now less fault laden

Divorce on fault grounds has been eroded, but not abolished. Although fault is no longer a cause for divorce, bad behaviour will still impact on the consequences of divorce. 

‘Mutual consent’ or ‘irremediable breach of the marital relationship’ are now the only available options for initiating divorce proceedings.The cause of an 'irremediable breach' no longer has to be proven. It is sufficient for one spouse to state that the relationship is broken.

Pensions

Spouses who have taken a career break can now buy back pension rights. The new law makes it possible for a spouse who has been out of work during married life to buy back pension years. But the scheme has preconditions, including the requirement that the applicant spouse must have been married at the time he or she stopped working.

Joint parental authority

Both parents must now make a decision together on "unusual" issues. "Unusual" is not defined in the legislation but the provision is designed to ensure that both parents are part of important decision-making processes for their children.

New judicial appointments

To support these family law reforms nine new judicial positions have also been created.  The judges will specialise in divorce procedures, visiting and accommodation rights, maintenance allowance and children's rights.