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International Divorce.


Jurisdiction disputes and cross-border enforcement are often the subject to complex legal argument and there are situations where early and urgent action is needed to protect and preserve assets abroad.

When considering the issue of divorce or dissolution proceedings, or where you expect proceedings are going to be issued against you, it is vital to consider early on whether the jurisdiction of England and Wales applies to your case. If other jurisdictions are available to you, it is also vital to choose the one that is best for you. This is because there are wide differences of approach between different jurisdictions on family financial and child issues. The selection of jurisdiction for proceedings, if a choice is available to you, can have a very significant effect on the outcome of family financial and child disputes.

Do you think you need legal help with your international divorce?

Call the family law team to discuss your options

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7870 3877

or email: family@fletcherday.co.uk

If you suspect that your spouse or civil partnership partner may be able to use another jurisdiction available to them, which may be less favourable to you, it is vital that you seek immediate and experienced legal advice from our team of international divorce lawyers as to whether you should urgently issue in this jurisdiction first or, if proceedings have already been issued against you, whether you can or should challenge the jurisdiction.

Cross border divorce issues

Even if the jurisdiction of England and Wales applies, there may still be international factors to deal with. Often family assets include property of business interests in other jurisdictions, which need to be considered and also may need to be protected /preserved pending a final judgement or settlement.

There can also be a need to consider whether and how, a court order in this jurisdiction can be enforced in another.

Jurisdiction disputes and cross-border enforcement are often the subject to complex legal argument and there are situations where early and urgent action is needed to protect and preserve assets abroad.

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    FAQs
    How do I find out whether my application for divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership can be issued in this jurisdiction?

    If you and /or your spouse or civil partner have international connections, including through the holding of foreign citizenship, domicile in another country (for example where one or both of you have lived in another jurisdiction or live in another jurisdiction) then you should seek urgent legal advice as to whether you should take action to issue first in a jurisdiction that is available to you and which will be likely to produce the best outcome for you. If you are concerned that your spouse may be able to issue in another jurisdiction that would be less favourable to you, it is particularly important to obtain urgent and specialist legal advice.

    How do I find out whether my spouse or partner could issue in another less favourable jurisdiction?

    You can take specialist legal advice as to whether your spouse is eligible to issue in another jurisdiction and if you need to also take advice as to whether that jurisdiction could be less favourable to you then further advice can be taken from a family lawyer in the potential jurisdiction.

    What steps can I take to protect assets abroad pending a divorce or dissolution application?

    If you have good cause for concern that assets in another jurisdiction are going to be disposed of, dissipated or transferred away and hidden, then it is important to take urgent legal advice on the options. The options may include an urgent court application to ‘freeze’ or otherwise protect the assets in the right circumstances and to try to prevent their disposal. Consideration will need to be given as to whether the courts in the jurisdiction where the assets are situated are likely to recognise the order and co-operate on enforcement.