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29 May 2015
Slater and Gordon Family Solicitor Fiona Wood helped her client claim spousal maintenance in the USA and avoid a costly trial in the English courts.
Slater and Gordon Solicitor: Fiona Wood is the Practice Group Leader for Family Law at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.
Fiona’s client lived in the USA with her husband, although they had lived in the UK several years ago. There were matrimonial assets in both the USA and in the UK.
Fiona’s client’s husband issued divorce proceedings in England, stating grounds which he argued the English court had jurisdiction to deal with. If the English court was asked to deal with the financial consequences of the divorce then this would have meant that Fiona’s client would not be able to claim spousal maintenance.
How Fiona helped: Fiona advised her client to defend the English divorce proceedings.
Fiona drafted and lodged the necessary documents at court to advise the judge that her client did not believe that the English court had jurisdiction to deal with their divorce.
At the same time, Fiona’s client issued matrimonial proceedings in the US and Fiona worked closely with her client’s US lawyer.
Decision: As part of the negotiations in the US, it was agreed that the husband’s English divorce would proceed, but the US court would deal with all financial matters.
Despite this, the husband issued financial proceedings in the English court. Armed with the advice of an expert family law barrister, Fiona persuaded the husband that he must desist from pursuing a financial claim in the English courts.
Fiona’s client was then able to negotiate a financial settlement in the US that she was very happy with, and which included spousal maintenance payments for her benefit.
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