Divorce: Not The Same Everywhere


England may have been a trendsetter elsewhere when it comes to the law, but other countries have developed their own divorce laws very different to our own. We picked 2 countries, Belgium and Spain, to highlight how different divorce laws are in the rest of Europe.

Divorce - It's not the same everywhere

Types Of Divorce

With couples getting married in England and Wales or elsewhere and deciding to make the UK their home, it's important to know that the process and laws of divorce are not the same everywhere.

Belgium has the highest divorce rate in the whole of Western Europe, with Spain coming in at 5th place, despite it being a predominantly Roman Catholic country and divorce only being legal since 1981. This shows that Spain in particular is moving away from their religious past and towards a more secular society. In the UK, almost half of marriages end in divorce, meaning that the UK didn't even feature in the world's top 10 most divorced nations.

The process of getting a divorce in the UK starts by identifying who may have been at fault. There's no such thing as a no fault divorce in the UK, although there is an undefended divorce. No fault divorce exists in both Spain and Belgium. Sir James Munby, President of the Family Law Division, called for no fault divorces earlier this year to be handled by registrars but this is yet to come to fruition.

Getting A Divorce

The time scale for being eligible for a divorce also differs amongst the countries. In Spain, you only need to be married for 3 months before you can apply for a divorce. In the UK, you have to be married for a year minimum before you can apply.

No two divorce claims are the same; similarly, no two countries have the exact same divorce laws. If you got married in another country or you're unsure which law applies to your divorce then it's worth getting the opinion of a family law solicitor.

Once a divorce has been finalised (you have received your decree absolute), it's often too late to make any changes to the arrangement agreed in court.

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