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International divorce and family law

Our international divorce and family law services

As more people live or get married abroad, we are often called upon to provide specialist legal advice on a variety of international family law issues, including:

  • International divorce involving one or more foreign nationals living in England and Wales.
  • International divorce involving expats living abroad.
  • Advice on selecting the most appropriate jurisdiction in which to petition.
  • Cross border disputes.
  • Foreign assets on divorce/separation.
  • International relocation of children.
  • Financial claims for child against parent resident in England or abroad.
  • International enforcement of English orders against payee or assets abroad.
  • Enforcement of foreign orders in England and Wales.
  • International prenuptial agreements
  • Domicile, habitual residence and the jurisdiction of the English Courts.
  • Financial orders in England after foreign divorce.
  • Freezing orders.
  • Foreign/offshore trusts.
  • Hidden assets.

Legal advice on overseas marriage and divorce

If any of the above issues are relevant to you then, it is important to take legal advice from an international family law specialist before commencing legal action. The outcomes in England & Wales often differ from those in other countries, even where those countries are other EU states, Commonwealth countries or the United States. Consequently, taking early advice before your spouse or partner commences divorce proceedings in a particular jurisdiction is key, because it may be fatal to your claims if the other party starts proceedings first.

In financial cases, divorce proceedings in England may have disastrous consequences for the wealthy party and may be started against those who are only resident here temporarily (6-12 months). If you are looking for ongoing financial support and/or property to be transferred to you, then England is likely to be the preferred choice in most cases, but careful consideration needs to be given to the location of assets and the enforceability of orders.

Also, in order for the English Court to be able to deal with proceedings, you will either need to be habitually resident or domiciled (domicile is not necessarily the same as nationality) in England and Wales. In cases involving children, the English Court’s jurisdiction will depend on the habitual residence of the relevant child.

We have the expertise to deal with these issues, as well as with cases involving complex financial assets and structures. Our lawyers are accredited specialists in International and European family law, and we also work closely with family law specialists across the world wherever necessary.

What the experts say about the family law team

“Maintains its formidable standing in the South West for complex financial remedy, surrogacy and private children matters, among others. Strong regional team representing high net worth clients in both traditional litigation and collaborative law proceedings. Increasingly involved in prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Also well adept at handling cases involving international aspects.”

Source: Chambers 2019

Contact our international law team

If you need legal advice on any aspect of international family law, contact us to speak to one of our family law solicitors. Call us now on 0800 422 0123 or contact us online.

Your key contacts

Rayner Grice


Rayner advises on the issues that arise for an individual following the breakdown of a relationship in relation to divorce/civil partnership dissolution, their financial affairs and their children.
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Adam Maguire


Adam specialises in divorce and family law. He advises clients regarding all aspects of private family law including cohabitation, separation, divorce and related financial issues, disputes concerning children and nuptial agreements.
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Clare Webb


Clare has built her practice with a commitment to helping her clients resolve their issues in a constructive and conciliatory way. In doing so, she will always have regard to the longterm hopes and aspirations for the family as a whole, whilst of course protecting her client’s interest.
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Philippa Yeo


Philippa is committed to helping couples navigate all aspects of the legal process on the breakdown of their relationship in a pragmatic, collaborative and family-focused way including supporting couples to reach arrangements for their children and achieve healthy future co-parenting relationships.
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Divorce and family law

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Many consider that inheritances ought to be ring-fenced on divorce for the party to whom it has been left but the law is not that straightforward. However, there are steps which can be taken to minimise the risk of inherited assets being “invaded” in the event of a divorce.
Read more on Protecting inheritance from divorce

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