A new deal struck between 14 countries on Friday says that couples of different European nationalities will be able to choose which divorce laws will apply to them. The breakaway pact marks a significant extension of the process that allowed an inner core of European Union countries to set up the euro currency, or others to remain outside the continental border-free Schengen area. It raises the prospect of various groups of like-minded European nations going their own way in different areas of law in future. Justice ministers meeting in Luxembourg "reached agreement on a decision authorising the first enhanced cooperation in the history of the EU," the bloc said in a statement. "The proposal would allow (couples) to know in advance which law is applicable to their divorce. "It would increase flexibility and autonomy by giving spouses a possibility to choose the applicable law to their divorce or legal separation and it would set clear rules for cases where no law has been chosen." One EU official said there is a "momentum reminiscent of the move to set up the euro. "If we were to wait for everybody to come on board, we could have been waiting forever," he said. The European parliament has still to pass the deal, but from a group of eight countries originally two years ago, another six have since joined up. The full list is: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain. While countries including Britain chose to remain outside the group, they nevertheless gave the nod to the agreement. The system of "enhanced cooperation" was introduced under the Lisbon Treaty which finally entered force in December last year after years of political wrangling. Supporters claim that applying the system in this area could potentially slash lawyers' fees for divorcees in these countries. Originally, backers wanted to clamp down on so-called 'divorce shopping,' where nationality or the place where a marriage took place can give one spouse an unfair advantage. Critics, though, say the system will end up creating rings of 'Europe within Europe.' Sweden previously blocked attempts to harmonise divorce law across the 27 EU states. Some 140,000 divorces each year will be affected.Source: AFP << Lawsuit Over Graphic Anti-smoking Posters Filed by Tobacc... Common Knee Pain in Runners can be Reduced by Hip Exercises >> Recommended Reading How to Save your marriage You can save your marriage - even when your partner insists on a divorce. READ MORE Recession-hit Shanghai Sees Drop in Divorce Cases While the current economic crises has made many companies to declare themselves broke, families in Shanghai are getting closer together and are shying away from filing a divorce, revealed authorities. READ MORE For Brit Divorces, the '7 Year Itch' Postponed to the 11th Year Of Marriage While most divorced couples blame their failed marriages on getting the '7 year itch', official figures seemingly suggest the figure is longer in the UK. READ MORE Divorcees' Kids Prefer to Get Married Early A survey of young women has shown the tendency of children whose parents are divorced to marry early rather than late. READ MORE Divorce: Pros and Cons Divorce can be traumatic for children and create a sense of insecurity amongst them. Couples should realize that joined parenting is important even after divorce. READ MORE How to Handle Depression and Stress while Going Through a Divorce? Divorce or breakup can be stressful and cause anxiety, depression and panic. Simple ways can help you deal with depression triggered by loss of marriage. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Iron Intake Calculator Blood Pressure Calculator More News on: How to Save your marriageDivorce: Pros and ConsHow to Handle Depression and Stress while Going Through a Divorce?