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International family law

International aspects of divorce

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.
  • Forum shopping/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.

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 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.

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.