31 May 2011
Is London the divorce capital of the world? Cally Griffiths discusses
The legal system in Britain has long been held as one of the most fair and just in the world, however, it now appears to be the destination of choice for many international divorcing couples.Across the world the way in which assets are divided following a divorce differs greatly. British courts have traditionally been more favourable to the less wealthy partner and have historically been seen to make provision for the less wealthy spouse.In cases where the assets are significant and include properties, offshore accounts, shares and trust funds the proceedings can be long and protracted. However, in these cases the British system is attractive to all parties as both spouses are legally required to provide full details of all their assets. This is not the case in all countries; for example, in Spain the spouse has to prove the value of their soon-to-be ex- spouses assets.It may surprise some people to know that you do not have to be British or have married in Britain to use our system. Provided a connection can be shown, such as owning a property here, then parties are free to use the UK system.Will our courts be over-run with wealthy individuals from around the world seeking to take advantage of our legal system? Only time will tell but in the meantime we are able to consider the wide range of international family cases that present themselves to the UK courts.