06 May 2015
If Living Overseas in which Country should you File for Divorce?
Divorce can be a complicated process, which is likely to be made even more complicated if there’s an international element.
An international element could be that:
• You and your spouse live in different countries
• You or your spouse own assets in other countries
• You or your spouse was born in a different country to the one where you currently live
• You and your spouse are different nationalities
Different countries have different divorce laws. Therefore, the International Divorce processes and outcomes vary enormously from country to country.
When it comes to international divorce, time is of the essence. You need to act quickly and seek professional advice from a divorce lawyer with experience in international issues as soon as possible.
If you don’t, your spouse could issue proceedings in the country which would be most advantageous to them. This may be in England or a country overseas and could mean your financial settlement is considerably less than you would have hoped.
If you are thinking of divorce, the English Courts would have jurisdiction if:
• Both you and your spouse reside in England or Wales
• You and your spouse last lived together in England or Wales and one of you still resides here
• Your spouse is resident in England or Wales and you intend to begin the divorce process here
• You have lived in England or Wales for the last 12 months and you intend to start the divorce process
• You are of English or Welsh domicile and have lived in England or Wales for at least the last 6 months
• Both you and your spouse are of English or Welsh domicile.
The question as to whether someone is habitually resident in a country or has retained the domicile of that country is a complicated issue and it is extremely important to seek advice from a family lawyer with expertise in this area as soon as possible.
If your spouse issues divorce proceedings first, it can be very difficult to persuade the courts that those proceedings should be moved to another country. If you allow your spouse to determine the country where you divorce, the settlement you receive may be considerably less than you could have secured had you begun the process yourself.
Slater and Gordon Family Lawyers understand how difficult it is to go through a divorce. They have a wealth of experience in the field of international law and connections with lawyers throughout the world. They can ensure you have the necessary advice to decide how to want to move forward and to ensure you secure the settlement to which you are entitled.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer all family law and divorce legal services. For an initial consultation call the Family Solicitors at Slater and Gordon UK on freephone 0800 916 9055. From outside the UK please call +44 20 7657 155 or contact us online and we will call you.
Slater and Gordon have over 1,450 staff and offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Derby, Merseyside, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.