Why do many international couples want to divorce in the UK?
If you are the financially weaker spouse, it makes good sense to fight tooth and nail to have your divorce heard in London’s courts. This is because English judges are known for being sympathetic to economically disadvantaged spouses, and for granting them generous financial settlements.
For financially stronger spouses, having your divorce heard in the English courts could lead to a harsh financial settlement being awarded in your spouse’s favour.
Our team understand the urgency of filing for a divorce in the right jurisdiction, especially for high-net-worth couples. We will work swiftly, collaborating with solicitors in other jurisdictions if required, to ensure your divorce proceedings are filed in the country which is most advantageous to you.
What are the legal grounds for divorce in the UK?
There is one legal ground for divorce in English law, that of ‘irreconcilable differences’ due to one of the following reasons:
- Unreasonable Behaviour
- Separation of more than two years – you can apply for divorce, and your spouse must agree
- Separation of more than five years – you can apply for divorce, and your spouse does not need to agree
For a divorce to be heard in the UK, the marriage must be legally recognised in England and Wales. This will be the case if the marriage took place within the formal requirements of the country in which you were married (i.e. you both were of the age in which marriage is allowed, and you followed the correct procedure). In addition, both parties must have had the capacity to understand a marriage was taking place.
What are the conditions which must be met for a divorce to be heard in the UK?
The courts in England and Wales have the jurisdiction to hear divorce proceedings if the following circumstances apply:
- both parties to the marriage are habitually resident in England and Wales; or
- both parties were last habitually resident in England and Wales, and one of them still lives there: or
- the Respondent is habitually resident in England and Wales; or
- the Petitioner is habitually resident in England and Wales and has resided there for a at least 12 months immediately before the petition is filed; or
- the Petitioner is domiciled in England and Wales and has been living in England and Wales for at least six months directly before the petition is filed; or
- Both parties are domiciled in England and Wales; or
- if none of the above apply and no court of another EU Member State has authority, one of the parties is domiciled in England and Wales on the date when the divorce proceedings are begun.
How can RVS Solicitors help in cases of international divorce?
Every country has different divorce laws. If two or more States could deal with your divorce proceedings, we can provide expert, practical advice on which country’s courts are likely to provide you with the most favourable terms when it comes to the financial settlement and/or arrangements for your children.
Our law firm is modern, commercially astute and digitally focused. We work smart, fast, and compassionately, ensuring our clients’ long-term interests are protected.
The divorce process is upsetting, stressful, and uncertain, and adding an international jurisdiction dispute can up the ante on the pressure involved. RVS Solicitors will support you each step of the way, doing what is best for you and your family. We will keep you informed as matters progress, removing uncertainty, giving you confidence, and helping you to move forward to a positive future.