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Does Luxembourg recognise foreign decisions?

Yes, provided that the procedures for recognition of foreign judgments are respected.

The procedure for recognising a foreign judgment differs according to the matter concerned (family, civil, etc.), or the State that issued the judgment (EU Member State or third country).


In certain situations, it is necessary to go through the exequatur procedure, which allows the Luxembourg court to recognise a foreign decision as if it emanates from a Luxembourg court itself.

For example, a Kafala deed, whether notarised or judicial, Moroccan or Algerian or from another third country, needs to be "exequaturated" to be enforced.

Likewise, a Lebanese notarial deed, recording the will of two ex-spouses to grant exclusive parental authority to the mother, must be "exequatured" in Luxembourg in order to have full effect with the administrative authorities.


On the other hand, a divorce pronounced by an Italian or a French court, or any other jurisdiction part of the European Union, does not need to be "exequatured", contrary to a divorce pronounced by an American court for example.


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How can I divorce?

There are two types of divorce in Luxembourg.

1. Divorce by mutual consent (with or without a lawyer)

  • The parties must agree on everything: the children's main residence, the alimony (for the children and personal), visiting and accommodation rights, liquidation of the community (division of joint property), etc.
  • The support of a notary or a lawyer facilitates the drafting of the divorce agreement, which covers all the points mentioned above, as well as the drafting of the inventory of the goods.
  • The parties (or their lawyer) then file a petition (letter) with the Juge aux Affaires Familiales (the "JAF") of the district court of Luxembourg or Diekirch to request the divorce.
  • The JAF will summon the parties to appear before him/her to ensure that they are indeed willing to divorce, and will then grant the divorce.

2. Divorce for irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship (with a lawyer)

  • The lawyer drafts a petition to the JAF requesting the divorce.
  • The parties are summoned to appear before the JAF, who will enquire of the respective requests of the parties relating to the divorce, as well as to the accessory measures: the main residence of the children, the alimony, the visiting and accommodation rights, and/or the liquidation of the community.
  • The parties may be summoned several times if they do not agree on their respective claims.
  • When the claims are complex, the JAF may ask each party to take position in writing.
  • In general, the JAF issues a first judgment which pronounces the divorce between the parties; then the debates continue until a final judgment is rendered to fix the ancillary claims of each party.

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How can I recover alimony arrears?

The procedure varies depending on whether the debtor lives in Luxembourg or abroad.

The debtor lives in Luxembourg?

There are several ways to recover the arrear such as the seizure of the debtor's salary or bank account(s), or to initiate a payment order procedure.

The debtor lives outside Luxembourg, in or outside the EU?

The State General Attorney of Luxembourg will follow-up with the concerned authorities of the debtor's place of residence.

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