The EU Regulations on Family Matters: Habitual Residence

In a civil procedure, the test used to establish which jurisdiction should be utilized to determine a specific legal issue or legal right is habitual residency. According to Dutta (2017), “the role and character of Private International Law has changed tremendously over the past decades” (p. 555). It can be compared with the legislation on domicile, which has typically been employed to accomplish the same goal in common law states. Habitual residency is less demanding than domicile, with an emphasis on previous experience instead of future intention. There is generally just one habitual abode where the person resides and returns to on a regular basis after exploring other areas. It is the geographical location that has been regarded as “home” for a reasonable amount of time. This work was written with the aim of studying family matters under the influence of European laws, given that habitual residence will be discussed.

The criterion of habitual residency may be more discriminatory than the test of nationality since the relationship is to a specific region within a state rather than to the country of citizenship, which may comprise multiple subnational authorities. According to Bruzelius (2019), “because social rights are strongly territorialized, immigrants’ availability of social services and benefits is profoundly impacted by nation-state immigration laws and welfare policies” (p. 70). As a result, if a country has more than one judicial process, the inhabitants must decide which of the various available laws will apply. Article 19 of the Rome Convention has a multinational illustration of this selecting procedure. Domicile is a less physical and evident idea. In certain cases, identifying it might be challenging. It is obvious that everyone has only one domicile, which must be in a location with just one judicial process. The fundamental difficulty that makes determining domicile difficult is that it might alter over one’s life. It all starts with the place where the individual is born.

With increased international family migration and the number of overseas couples, the repercussions of relationship separation progressively have a cross-jurisdictional character. According to Carruthers (2020), “increasingly in international family law, the connecting factor of “habitual residence” is employed” (p. 1). Individuals, as well as practitioners, must be cognizant of the intricacies associated with working with foreign family law matters. The questions, coupled with the one on how many habitual residences a person may have for the same purposes, are a known source of headaches for the national courts. When completing a divorce petition, it is important that care is taken to persuade the court that it has sufficient jurisdiction to deal with the divorce.

In Austria, for example, there are no distinct family courts. In family cases, District Courts have the first authority, and specialized family law sections are available. Individual verdicts are not used as broad examples for other comparable cases in Austria, contrary in most other European countries, although such judgments are essential when it comes to the application of legislation. The calculating model produced via the courts’ accepted pattern is used throughout the nation in maintenance judgments, exceptions to the general norm.

There are a few exclusions in the UAE; in principle, the Courts of First Appeal have authority in family disputes filed against residents or foreigners domiciled or residing in the UAE. Furthermore, a citizen or immigrant may end the relationship in the UAE even if their marriage lives elsewhere, as long as the particular location is undisclosed. Domicile is associated with local where a person dwells and considers to be their protracted homeland. The term “residence” might be more amorphous than “domicile.” In reality, if a party has a residency permit for the UAE, they are considered situated or permanent in the UAE for jurisdictional reasons.

In Finland, except as otherwise acknowledged, the national constitution that became the residence of both spouses at marriage would apply to marital property disputes. If the spouses later moved domicile, the law of the new domicile would apply if they had lived with it for at least five years. If the couples had previously been housed there, then both were citizens of the new jurisdiction, the legislation of the new place of residence would submit an application. If neither couple’s residence has changed, the law of the nation to which the couples have the closest relationship, taking all situations into account, will govern.

At the moment, it is thought that choosing jurisdiction based on habitual residency is the greatest approach to defend the country’s best interests. For the process of ascertaining the proficient court to understand a motion for visiting rights regarding a child whose parents are enforced kept separate and domiciled in multiple states, the position taking into account that global legal authority equates to the child’s usual residence takes precedence the court’s effectiveness in and for the society where the stated child has their center point of living. As a result, the closeness of the court to the kid enables more timely and effective jurisdictional protection, therefore conforming to the concept of performance. Depending upon the age and maturity of the particular kid, the judge of the child’s usual abode is the one who can best meet the child’s right to be heard in any case impacting them and to openly voice their opinion.

In general, the relevant law to parental responsibility is the jurisdiction’s legislation where such privileges are performed, and the responsible authorities are the tribunals in and for that jurisdiction. Unfortunately, this is sometimes difficult to ascertain since it occurs when parents – the children’s official representation – divorce and live in separate regions. European jurisprudence has previously emphasized the necessity of closeness between the tribunal and the child for efficient protection, favoring place of residence above domicile. International treaties bolstered this notion, which was later embraced by court decisions.


Bruzelius, C. (2019). Freedom of movement, social rights, and residence-based conditionality in the European Union. Journal of European Social Policy, 29(1), 70-83.

Carruthers, J. (2020). Discerning the meaning of “habitual residence of the child” in UK courts. Yearbook of Private International Law, 21, 1-35.

Dutta, A. (2017). Domicile, habitual residence, and establishment. In Encyclopedia of Private International Law. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited. 555-561.

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DemoEssays. (2023, November 7). The EU Regulations on Family Matters: Habitual Residence. Retrieved from


DemoEssays. (2023, November 7). The EU Regulations on Family Matters: Habitual Residence.

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DemoEssays. (2023) 'The EU Regulations on Family Matters: Habitual Residence'. 7 November.


DemoEssays. 2023. "The EU Regulations on Family Matters: Habitual Residence." November 7, 2023.

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DemoEssays. "The EU Regulations on Family Matters: Habitual Residence." November 7, 2023.