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Non-traditional families; the next hot topic in European family law

I have just come home from the annual conference on European family law in Trier, Germany. We have discussed and debated everything from marital property regimes in Muslim jurisdictions to electronic apostilles (e-APP).

Based on the discussion I draw the conclusion that the most burning topic right now is the rights of non-traditional families.

EU has done great progress when it comes to the handling of property rights in relation to cross-border inheritance. But the next big challenge will without question be rights that spring from marriage and partnerships.

The different views on for example same sex marriages and non-traditional families have been a stumbling block within the EU for a long time. In fact the different take on "modern" relationships was the reason why marital property was left outside the EU inheritance regulation (applicable from August 2015).

Despite the different phases the countries within the EU are at, EU cannot for very much longer hide from the fact that there are many non-traditional families living within the borders of the EU (by traditional families EU means mom, dad + child/ren).

The patchwork of different legislations, or lack thereof stands in the way of free movement within the EU. For example a married couple of same sex are considered legally equal to a married couple of different sex in Finland, Sweden, Germany, France, Spain etc. but are not in for example Italy, Poland and Greece. This prohibits these people from having free movement as a European Citizen.

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