International divorce

ServicesExpertiseFamilyInternational divorce

International or expat divorces can be extremely complex with laws differing from country to country.

If your relationship is breaking down you need to seek advice as early as possible with experienced professionals.

What is considered international?

  • If you were born in England or Wales but are currently living abroad
  • If you have returned to the UK after living abroad for some or most of your married life
  • If you were born in a foreign country but currently live in England or Wales
  • If your spouse lives outside of England or Wales

You are therefore eligible to divorce in England or Wales if:

  1. You are domiciled – you were born and live here
  2. You are a habitual resident – you are based here for the majority of the time

What do you need to consider?

  • Child contact orders, relocation and abduction
  • Financial claims, pensions and tax implications
  • Freezing assets
  • Laws involving multiple jurisdictions
  • Protecting offshore businesses and trusts
  • Where will divorce proceedings take place

The English legal system often provides financially beneficial results which are quicker and more effective. It is important to speak with a legal advisor as soon as possible before issuing divorce proceedings.

Child abduction

With the emotions and stress that come with a divorce, either partner may wish to return to their home country and take their children with them. Removing a child from the country where they live without your spouse’s written consent is considered abduction and is a criminal offence. When questioning your residence during divorce proceedings you must seek advice as it is likely you will need the courts permission.

Pre-nuptial, post-nuptial, and pre-civil partnership agreement

If you are considering entering a marriage, a civil partnership or are moving abroad we would advise you to consider whether your joint financial plans should be recorded in an agreement setting out which financial assets you each own. This can outline, if the relationship were to breakdown, which law should apply and what should happen. The weight given to a nuptial agreement differs from country to country.

As members of Lexwork international we have contacts with over 2500 lawyers in major cities across Europe, America and Asia.