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FAQ: What does ‘habitually residing’ mean and how does it affect my divorce?

FAQ: What does ‘habitually residing’ mean and how does it affect my divorce?

Habitual residence is considered by the courts to be the place where you have your closest ties. For most people, this is where you live and work – the place you call home. Your habitual residence is referred to as such if it is a place that you reside in regularly – you can only be habitually resident in one location at any one time.

In terms of how your habitual residence can affect your divorce, it can affect whether or not The Courts of England and Wales have the jurisdiction to deal with your divorce. This jurisdiction is granted if:

  • If you and your spouse are both habitually resident in England or Wales
  • You and your spouse were habitually resident in England or Wales, and one of you is still habitually resident there
  • The Respondent (the person who is not petitioning for divorce) is habitually resident in England or Wales
  • The Petitioner (the person who is filing for divorce) is habitually resident in England or Wales and has been for at least one year prior to the petitioning
  • The Petitioner is domiciled in England or Wales and has been living there for 6 months prior to the filing of the Petition
  • Both Petitioner and Respondent are domiciled in England and Wales

If no Court of an EU contracting state has the relevant jurisdiction:

  • The Petitioner or the Respondent is domiciled in England or Wales when the Petition is filed

Habitual residence can be complicated and difficult to understand, but it can be very important to your divorce proceedings. The expert team at Goodwins Family Law Solicitors are experienced and fully qualified in all aspects of family law, so you if you would like to know more, get in touch with us today.

Needing some professional advice on habitual residence? You can contact Goodwins Family Law today to book an initial fixed fee consultation for a confidential discussion and we’ll be happy to help. We are situated in Harrow, London, with on site car parking and accessible from public transport links. Alternatively, if you are overseas we possess the capabilities to arrange a Skype call with you if it is more convenient.


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