If you need help or advice about an international divorce, contact Slater and Gordon Lawyers for an initial consultation.

To discuss your situation, please don’t hesitate to call our international divorce solicitors on freephone 0808 175 8000 or contact us online. If you live outside the UK, please call +44 20 7657 1555.



Where should I start divorce proceedings?

If a married couple who live overseas decide to separate and want to get a divorce, it’s not always clear which country they should start divorce proceedings in. It’s very important to choose the right place, because different countries can have very different divorce laws. Choosing the right place to have your case heard can impact the outcome of the divorce considerably.

This is a decision that the experts at Slater and Gordon Lawyers are perfectly placed to help you with. Our highly trained international divorce solicitors have decades of experience in securing positive outcomes in even the most complicated of cases.

When does an English divorce court have jurisdiction?

If any of the following apply, you may be able to start your divorce proceedings in the English legal system:

  • Both you and your partner are residents in England or Wales
  • Either you or your partner lives in England or Wales and has done for at least six months
  • Either party is domiciled in England or Wales (this is a legal concept referring to the country a person has his or her permanent home)

However, it’s not always so simple to establish which country has jurisdiction in an individual divorce case. One or more of the above criteria may apply, but another country may have jurisdiction.

For example, if a couple domiciled in England is living abroad and the husband meets someone else and wants to get a divorce, the wife could potentially start divorce proceedings in the UK as soon as possible by issuing a divorce petition in the UK courts system. However, if her husband issues divorce proceedings first in the country in which they’re living, that court may have jurisdiction. Different jurisdictions have different financial remedies and different approaches to the types of remedies available, for instance spousal maintenance. It’s therefore crucial to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible if you’re considering divorce and there’s an international element: if you don’t act fast and start proceedings of you own in the UK, you could be left out of pocket or at the mercy of what you believe to be an unfair settlement.

Wherever you live - be it Dubai, UAE or Marbella, Spain - international divorce can be a complex area of law. Don’t hesitate to seek legal advice you can trust at the earliest opportunity, as timing really is key in these cases.

Get in touch with our international divorce solicitors by calling freephone 0808 175 8000 or use our online contact form to make an enquiry.

Do you need help with children’s issues or complicated financial affairs?

It’s not only choosing the right country in which to start divorce proceedings that can be complicated when it comes to international divorce cases. There are also many other issues that’ll need to be decided, including where children will live and what’ll happen to shared assets located in another country.

Even if your divorce case is heard in the UK, you may still need to navigate complicated legal systems abroad in order to settle these issues.

This can particularly affect couples of differing nationalities, where property and assets are owned in more than one country. If such a couple separates, they may each make a different country their permanent home - which means that childcare arrangements, which must be worked out as part of the separation, become a lot more difficult.

In another example, a couple who’ve separated and are living in different countries may own property in a third country, which will need to be sold and the proceeds divided.

These are all issues in which it’s absolutely vital to consult a legal professional with extensive experience in international family law. The solicitors at Slater and Gordon are globally renowned for their skill and experience in dealing with even the most complex international divorce cases. Whatever your situation, we can help.

Your circumstances may seem too complicated to even fathom a resolution at this stage, but our expert international divorce lawyers will help to clear a path to a solution that works for your family. We pride ourselves on our clear, honest communication and don’t use any unnecessary legal jargon.

To ask a question or discuss your circumstances, please contact our international family law team on freephone 0808 175 8000. This number is available 24/7, so we’re always on hand to help if you need us. You can also use our online contact form to get in touch and we’ll be happy to get back to you.

Why choose Slater and Gordon Lawyers?

For your peace of mind, we offer fixed fees for international divorce cases, including legal arrangements for children and international divorce financial settlements across multiple jurisdictions. This means no unpleasant surprises or unexpected bills later on, which is just one of the ways we can make your experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Slater and Gordon has the largest team of family lawyers in the UK, with conveniently located offices nationwide. This means that wherever you live, we’re on hand to help.

For an initial consultation to discuss your circumstances, please call our international divorce solicitors on freephone 0808 175 8000 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to contact you at a convenient time.

If you live outside of the UK, please call +44 20 7657 1555. This number is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.