International Divorce

If you are involved in an international divorce and matters such as where the proceedings should be issued are complex, the expert family law solicitors at JMW are here to help. We are highly experienced in assisting in international divorce and financial cases and can advise on jurisdictional matters to help you secure the best possible result.

Find out more about how we can help you today by getting in touch with the team. Simply call us on 0800 652 5577 or complete our online enquiry form and we will call you back at a time that is convenient for you.

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About International Divorce

It is very common for a family to have international links, whether through nationality, periods of time living abroad, or assets in other countries. Because divorce and financial settlements can differ significantly between countries, in instances where a separating couple have international links it is very important to consider in which country the proceedings should be issued. This can avoid the delay and expense of mistakenly starting proceedings in a country in which they cannot continue or be completed.

Establishing or defending jurisdiction can be complicated and it is crucial to get expert legal advice before proceedings are issued. Often, more than one country will have jurisdiction and a decision will need to be made as to which country is the most appropriate. Factors to consider include:

  • The location of the parties to the proceedings
  • The location of the assets in dispute
  • The location of any witnesses and experts that may be required
  • Whether any order made could be enforced in the correct jurisdiction, and how complex the process would be
  • The costs involved in each jurisdiction
  • The length of time the proceedings would take in either jurisdiction
  • How the result would differ depending on which court deals with the case
  • The languages spoken by the parties, and by the courts, and whether translations will be required

In circumstances where more than one country has jurisdiction to hear a case, it can sometimes be very important that the application is lodged urgently (known as the court being 'seised' of the case) in order to secure jurisdiction before proceedings can be issued elsewhere.

Our team has long-standing experience in making urgent applications to safeguard a client's interests and regularly deal with international divorce cases and advise on jurisdictional matters. 

Financial Settlements after Foreign Divorce

Because the way in which different countries deal with financial matters after a divorce varies so significantly, sometimes it is not possible for a financial settlement to be concluded as part of those proceedings and they must be addressed separately elsewhere.

If you have been divorced abroad and not had a suitable financial settlement, in some circumstances it can be possible to ask the courts in England and Wales to consider the financial issues arising from the separation and divorce. These applications are often known as Part III applications (they are contained within Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984). 

There are strict criteria to be met before a Part III Application can be issued, and sometimes the range of orders the court can make may be more limited than under domestic proceedings. Such applications can, however, sometimes be the only way in which it is possible for certain assets to be divided after a foreign divorce.

Our family law specialists have extensive experience of international divorce and financial cases and can advise you on whether an application for financial remedy following a foreign divorce is right for you.

Enforcement of Foreign Orders

If an order for financial remedy has not been complied with, there are various methods for enforcement. Which method of enforcement is most suitable will depend on the nature of the order that has been breached, together with the type of assets in the case and where they are located.

It is not uncommon for enforcement to be required in a different country to where the order was made. There are numerous international rules and regulations that set out arrangements for reciprocal enforcement between different jurisdictions, and which can help to make the process quicker and easier. 

Our solicitors can help you consider the various options for enforcement - whether it is seeking enforcement abroad of an order made here, or asking the court in England and Wales to enforce the terms of a foreign divorce or financial order - to help you find the most effective solution.

Why Choose JMW?

The family law team at JMW is highly experienced in dealings involving international divorce and our no-nonsense, direct approach means that by choosing us you will be giving yourself the very best chance of securing a favourable outcome.

We are adept at dealing with the most complex of cases and will keep you informed of all movement throughout, ensuring you have the peace of mind that everything is progressing as it should.

Talk to Us

If you are going through a divorce that is complicated due to geographical location and international jurisdictions, get in touch with the family solicitors at JMW today to find out more about how we can help today. Simply call us on 0800 652 5577 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will call you back.

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