Hague Divorce Convention

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Hague Divorce Convention
Hague Convention on the Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations
  Parties that ratified
  Parties that acceeded (only valid after acceptance of other countries
Signed 1 June 1970
Location The Hague, The Netherlands
Effective 24 August 1975
Condition Ratification by 3 states[1]
Parties 20[2]
Depositary Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Netherlands)
Languages English and French

The Hague Divorce Convention, officially Convention on the Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations is a convention concluded by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH). It regulates the recognition of divorces and legal separations provided they have been performed according to the correct legal process in the state where the divorce was obtained. Not all divorces need to be recognized under the convention. Only those divorces obtained in a state where (at the time of the start of the proceedings);[1]

  • the "respondent" (the person against whom proceedings were started) had its residence
  • the "petitioner" (the person starting the procedures) had his residence (for at least a year; or: together with his/her spouse)
  • corresponds to the nationality of both spouses
  • corresponds to the nationality of the petitioner and where he lived, or had lived for 1 year in the past 2 years
  • corresponds to the nationality of the petitioner, and where he is present, while the last state of their joint residence does not provide for divorce


As of March 2013, 20 states were parties to the convention. The parties are all in Europe, except Australia, Egypt and Hong Kong. The convention is open to all countries. Countries that signed the convention, became a Party by subsequent ratification. Other countries can accede to the convention. When a country ratifies, it automatically becomes applicable between all countries that are party to the convention, whereas the accession only becomes applicable when the other country accepts that accession. Regarding members of the European Union (except Denmark), the Brussels II regulation (which handles conflict of law regarding divorce and parental responsibility) supersedes the convention.

Country Signature Ratification/Accession Remarks
Albania 7 March 2013
Australia 24 September 1995
China 21 May 1975 Only with respect to Hong Kong
Cyprus 13 January 1983
Czech Republic 28 June 1993 succession from Czechoslovakia
Denmark 5 December 1972 25 June 1975
Egypt 8 May 1979 21 April 1980
Estonia 7 November 2002
Finland 19 November 1974 16 June 1977
Italy 19 February 1986 19 February 1986
Luxembourg 6 November 1981 13 February 1991
Moldova 10 October 2011 10 October 2011
Netherlands 23 August 1979 23 June 1981 European territory and Aruba (since 28 May 1986)
Norway 12 October 1972 15 August 1978
Poland 25 April 1996
Portugal 10 May 1985 10 May 1985
Slovakia 15 March 1993 succession from Czechoslovakia
Sweden 13 September 1974 25 June 1975
Switzerland 23 June 1975 18 May 1976
United Kingdom 1 June 1970 21 May 1974 Extended to Bermuda (20 August 1972), Gibraltar (28 January 1977), Guernsey, Jersey, Man (21 May 1974)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Convention of 1 June 1970 on the Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations". HCCH. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Status". HCCH. Retrieved 16 March 2013.