International Family Law

What is international divorce?

International divorce may affect you if you or your spouse intend to start divorce proceedings and one or more of the following applies:

  • You were married abroad;
  • Either one of you were born abroad;
  • Either or both of you live abroad (‘Expats’) in another EU Country or non-member state such as the United Arabic Emirates;
  • You have foreign assets which need to be dealt with on divorce including overseas properties;

International divorce can be complex as significantly different outcomes can be achieved depending on the Country where the divorce proceedings are issued and/or financial matters are resolved. It is important to understand which Country is most advantageous for you (‘forum shopping’).

Can I get divorced in England?

You can apply to issue divorce proceedings in England and Wales if one of the following criteria applies:

  • when you begin divorce proceedings, both you and your spouse are habitually resident in England or Wales; 
  • both you and your spouse’s last habitual residence was England or Wales and one of you still lives there when divorce proceedings begin;
  • at the time the divorce proceedings begin, the respondent to the divorce is habitually resident in Wales or England;
  • for 12 months prior to the start of divorce proceedings, the petitioner applying for the divorce has been habitually resident in Wales or England; 
  • for six months prior to the start of divorce proceedings, the petitioner has been habitually resident in England or Wales, and is also domiciled there;
  • you and your spouse are domiciled in England or Wales when divorce proceedings begin;
  • no other court of a “contracting state” to the European Convention (‘Brussels IIA’) has jurisdiction, and either you or your spouse is domiciled in England or Wales when divorce proceedings begin.

What is Domicile?

Everyone has a domicile of origin (where they were born), but it is possible to change this through choice so that a Country which you consider to be your home becomes your domicile of choice.

What is Habitual Residence?

This is the place where you live on a voluntary basis with an intention to live there for a significant period of time.  

What other situations involve international family law?

International family law may also affect you in circumstances where:-

What should I do next?

If your situation involves some element of international family law it is vital that you seek specialist advice from a family solicitor who has experience in dealing with international family cases so as to ensure that they work with you to achieve the best outcome for you. 

Speed can be crucial in international family law cases. However it is essential that you receive expert advice before considering your options such as Mediation.

Free Consultation

We understand that you will want to have an initial conversation with one of our family experts to see how we can help you. This is why we offer a free consultation to assess your needs and to see how we can assist.

For a no obligation, free initial consultation please call us on 0113 322 9222 or email enquiries@consilialegal.co.uk and request a call back.

Who we are

Our highly experienced family solicitors work with you in the best way for you. As accredited mediators, collaborative lawyers and experienced litigators we can assist you by whatever method is needed for your situation. We know that every family situation is different and we pride ourselves in finding creative solutions which best work for you and your children. MEET THE TEAM 

How we can help

Our experienced family & divorce solicitors can advise, guide and assist you in all aspects of private family law including:-

For more information or to arrange a consultation please contact us on 0113 322 9222 or email enquiries@consilialegal.co.uk

Location

Our head office is in Leeds City Centre and we also have offices in North Yorkshire, Harrogate. See Contact Us page for full details.

We represent clients all over the country as well as expats living overseas. If you would like to find out if we can help you, please contact us on 0113 322 9222.

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