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International Divorce – What Are The Options?

Posted on 14th October 2013 by Goodwins Family Law Solicitors

Divorce is never an easy process to go through. It takes a lot of work, stress and negotiations to complete and can be very challenging for the people involved. When the divorce involves two people in two different countries, the challenges and difficulties are multiplied.  Different countries have different stipulations regarding divorce, and that can make negotiations very tricky.

If you are going through an international divorce, one of the most important elements to your process is speed. This will enable you to check that the courts of your partner’s country can adequately deal with the case. Co-operation between you and your partner is vital, as you need to be clear as to what country you will start proceedings in.

Applying to Divorce in England & Wales

You apply to start your divorce process in England and Wales if the circumstances of you and your partner meet any of the following criteria:

  • Both you and your partner are residents of England and Wales
  • The respondent to the divorce is habitually resident in England or Wales when divorce proceedings begin
  • The petitioner for the divorce has been resident in Wales or England for 12 months prior to the beginning of divorce proceedings
  • You and your partner are domiciled (to treat a country as your home) in England or Wales when proceedings begin

If you or your partner meet any of these criteria, you will be able to begin divorce proceedings in England and Wales. However, as international divorce contains many ambiguities and stipulations, it is highly recommended that you seek expert advice first. At Goodwins Family Law, we offer expert advice and representation for international divorce cases, whether one or both parties are based abroad.

International Divorce with Child Custody

International divorce also makes child custody cases hugely complicated. When battling for custody of a child, parents will try and obtain permission from the courts to relocate, and if they do not obtain such permission, there is a chance that they may leave the country with the child regardless.

International divorce is a more drawn-out process than domestic divorce, but speed is still a vital element of the process. This is because the country which receives family law proceedings first will deal with them. This law is known as Brussels II. Financial outcomes from these cases can vary drastically between countries, whatever your circumstances. So if you do find yourself in a situation where divorce is your only option, issuing proceedings first could save you a lot of money.


Goodwins Family Law Solicitors

Here at Goodwins Family Law Solicitors, we bring our vast experience and expertise to every case. Your proceedings will be treated like the unique case it is, and we will be with you from start to finish. We will fully explain the fees and charges before we proceed, so you will not encounter any unexpected costs during your case. International divorce cases can often be protracted and stressful, and we will treat your case with the utmost care and sensitivity to ensure your proceedings go as smoothly as possible.

Read further FAQ’s and advice on International Divorce in our online Advice Centre.

Alternatively, you can get in touch with our London based team. We also offer a Skype service if you are overseas, you can request a Skype call here.