When a contact order is issued by a family law judge in the court of a European Union member state, it becomes binding in all EU countries and will therefore be recognised by the family courts of all 27 members.
However, before any order can be made, certain conditions must be met. For example:
• The parties involved should be given advance warning of the proceedings
• The parties involved should be offered the chance to state their view
• The child must be provided with a forum to give their view. EU countries tend to have their own ways of addressing this
Before a court in a second country can implement an order, the judge in the country where it was made must certify the order and a translation if necessary before sending it to the court. Once received, the order takes immediate effect.
Residence orders work differently and are not as easily transferrable across EU states. Nevertheless is it fairly easy to prevent competing orders between EU courts.
Non-EU countries operate completely differently and new orders will probably need to be applied for. Regrettably, this can be a protracted process because of the country’s different legal attitudes and court system.
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