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Posted on: 6 December 2023 by Goodwins Family Law Solicitors
Please note – divorce laws differ throughout the countries in the UK. You can get divorced in England and Wales if you or your spouse are currently living abroad, depending on several factors. This is a complex area of family law and we recommend you contact an international divorce solicitor at the earliest opportunity to discuss your specific case.
Ultimately, you or your spouse need to have a sufficient connection with England and Wales to be able to petition here. However, you don’t have to be in England to be granted a divorce here. You may be eligible if:
‘Domicile’ is a concept that is used to link a person to a specific legal system – it primarily takes into account where you were born, but it can be possible to change it later, based upon where you are living and where you may possibly be living in the future. Using this concept, we will be able to determine whether or not you are eligible for divorce using the English courts.
Following Brexit, the UK courts have revised the jurisdiction criteria for divorcing when one spouse lives abroad. The courts now primarily consider the habitual residence and domicile of the parties involved, rather than the previous EU-wide rules.
The prior EU rule, which stated that the first EU country to receive a divorce petition would handle the case, no longer applies. UK residents seeking a divorce are now subject to UK courts handling petitions based on national criteria, independent of EU regulations.
UK divorces may not be automatically recognised in EU member states post-Brexit. Parties involved should seek specific legal advice on the recognition process in the respective EU country, which may require additional legal steps or adherence to local laws.
Please note that every case is different and may not fit exactly with the above criteria – it is therefore essential to get in touch so we can provide tailored advice to your situation. If you live abroad, why not use our international video call service.
Are you currently considering a divorce in the UK?
The legal process of divorce can be challenging, especially when you or your spouse live outside the country. Goodwins Family Law Solicitors provide tailored legal advice for international divorce cases throughout the world and can help you to navigate the divorce process. Contact us today to book an initial fixed-fee consultation.Arrange a consultation
Read further advice and guidance in our online Advice Centre.
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