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FAQs & Advice - International Divorce

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I want to divorce in England, but my partner wants to divorce abroad – if I file for divorce first, will my petition take precedence?

When you and/ or your spouse are living abroad, filing for divorce first does not necessarily mean that you will automatically be given precedence. However, this matter can be easily broken down in to two main categories:

  • Divorcing within EU countries
  • Divorcing between England and a non-EU country


Divorcing within EU Countries

In the EU, there is a law (known as the Brussels II Regulation) which states the country that receives the petition first will conduct the proceedings. In this case, speed is essential, and it is highly recommended to seek expert legal help immediately before proceeding to ensure you fully understand which country you would receive the most favourable outcome.

Divorce between England and a Non-EU Country

In this case, the courts will look at which country has the closest connection to the two of you to determine where the divorce should take place. Speed is still important in this situation, and we recommend you contact a specialist international divorce solicitor as early as possible to discuss which countries you are eligible to divorce.

Find out more about the things you need to consider when getting an international divorce in our easy to understand infographic.