When getting an international divorce it’s important to think about what country is most beneficial to start your divorce proceedings. If you or your ex have moved overseas but still have ties to the UK, a divorce in England or Wales might offer you more protection over your assets, such as money and property, or simply make the process more straightforward.
For initial legal advice contact our International Divorce Lawyers.
Applying for a divorce in England or Wales
- Both you and your ex-partner are habitually resident – this means the place where your life is mainly based, or the place where you’re settled and intend to stay in England or Wales
- The last place you were both habitually resident was England or Wales and either you or your ex still lives there
- The person receiving the divorce application, known as the Respondent, is habitually resident in England or Wales
- The person applying for the divorce, known as the Petitioner, is habitually resident in England or Wales and has lived there for at least 1 year
- The Petitioner is domiciled in England or Wales and has lived here for at least 6 months. Domiciled means where your main, permanent home is or where you intend to return.
- Both parties are domiciled in England or Wales.
Domicile and habitual residency in divorce can be fairly confusing concepts. If you’re not sure about your habitual residency or domicile, then we can help. Different countries have different rules around domicile and habitual residency, so you should get legal advice to determine what applies to your specific set of circumstances.
You might be able to apply for a divorce under more than one legal jurisdiction. You should take advice about your legal rights if you are living abroad. Getting legal advice will help you to make an informed decision about whether it’s better to start divorce proceedings in England or Wales, or abroad.
Speak to an International Divorce Lawyer
International divorces can often become very complicated as different countries have different processes around divorce. It can also be difficult deciding how to split assets when you and your ex-partner live in different countries, and your assets are both abroad and in the UK.
Talking to one of our International Divorce Lawyers could be crucial in making sure you get the best outcome from your divorce.
Our Divorce Lawyers and Solicitors are experts in handling complex divorce cases with international elements. We can help you to ease the stress and upset of getting a divorce and we’ll help to make the divorce process run as smoothly as possible for you.
Our Divorce Lawyers will always be open with you, and can handle the whole divorce process or just give you help where you need it.
Which Country Should I Get Divorced in?
When choosing where you should get divorced, there are lots of things to consider. It’s best to choose the country where you can get the best outcome. Each country has different rules about how assets should be divided and our Lawyers can help you to understand how these rules impact your own individual circumstances.
Because the divorce process is different in each country, it can get quite complex outside of England and Wales. So when choosing to get divorced outside of the UK, you should get legal advice about whether it’s more beneficial for you to get divorced here in England and Wales.
When getting a cross border divorce it’s important to think about:
- How much it will cost
- How long the divorce will take
- Which jurisdiction will put you in a better position when settling your finances
- If the country recognises your marriage – some countries don’t recognise civil partnerships or same sex marriages
- The language barrier which could make the process longer
What happens if you and your partner can't agree where to get divorced?
If you and your partner can’t agree on which country to get divorced in, then it will be simply decided by whoever applies first. If you both apply for a divorce against the other in different jurisdictions, the Courts will decide where the first application was issued and that will be where your divorce takes place.
If proceedings have already been started by both parties, our International Divorce Lawyers can help you determine which jurisdiction should take priority. We understand that divorce can be a stressful and emotional time, so we will advise you in a way that makes the divorce process as easy as it can be.
Advantages of Getting a Divorce in England and Wales
The UK has one of the highest divorce rates in the world. Often when couples move abroad or marry across nationalities, they choose to divorce under England’s jurisdiction as it has certain advantages. Some of these include:
- The divorce process in England and Wales is very straightforward in most cases, and can often be completed online
- The criteria in deciding a financial settlement is broader in England and Wales than in other jurisdictions, which may be more beneficial to you
- In most cases, the English Courts do not distinguish between the contributions of a stay at home care giver and the breadwinner
- The UK recognises civil partnerships and same sex marriages
Getting divorced in England or Wales could be advantageous for you, especially in terms of deciding on a financial settlement. But every case is different and our Divorce Lawyers will talk to you honestly about what’s more beneficial for you.
You can read more about the divorce process in England and Wales here.
International Divorce Fees
Our International Divorce Lawyers charge an hourly rate fee which depends on the experience of the Lawyer or Solicitor working on your case.
Generally, international divorces require more expertise as they often involve assets overseas, such as property, and the English Courts can’t enforce a Court Order over foreign assets. This means if you can’t agree with your ex about how your assets are divided, things can become quite complicated.
The expertise needed in every divorce case is different and depends on the complexity of your situation – if you and your ex can agree, you’ll spend less in legal fees and you can get divorced quicker.
We understand that sometimes a complicated divorce is unavoidable. If your divorce is quite complex, a Senior Divorce Solicitor or Partner will help you with your divorce. Our Divorce Solicitors and Lawyers are experts and will make sure the process is handled professionally.
We’ll talk to you openly and honestly about how much your divorce will cost so there’ll be no nasty surprises at the conclusion of your divorce.
For initial legal advice call our Family Law and Divorce Solicitors
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.