You are here

Jurisdiction Choice

Deciding where to divorce

There are many people and families who have close connections to more than one country, either because they were born or married outside of England and Wales or lived or worked abroad before or during their marriage. When your relationship breaks down you may therefore be able to bring a divorce in more than one country.

It is important to identify this at an early stage because financial and other outcomes vary hugely from one country to another. Specialist family law advice can help you identify those countries which may be able to deal with your divorce and then choose the ‘best’ jurisdiction for you. This process is known as “forum shopping”.

When speed is essential

Where there are potentially other countries involved, time is often of the essence and it may be necessary to act very quickly. Within Europe, the general rule is that the country in which the divorce proceedings are first issued seizes jurisdiction, regardless of where there is the closest connection. Who issues first is also a relevant, although this carries less weight in other parts of the world.

It is important that you do not advise your husband, wife or civil partner that you are considering divorce or else they may also seek to issue proceedings in the country most advantageous to them.

International reach

We work closely with many specialist family lawyers around the world on behalf of our clients to ensure that they are able to obtain specialist advice from other family lawyers – and act with speed when necessary. For example, we have a close association with Watts McCray, one of Australia’s leading family law firms.

 

Meet the team

Our specialists are knowledgeable, friendly and experts in their own individual fields.

 

 

GET IN TOUCH

Please send us a message with your query. Alternatively, request a call back, if you would like us to call you. We will be in touch within 24 hours.

 

Guidance

Spousal Maintenance or Alimony Calculator

Prepared by iFLG based on the law to help individuals and couples towards reaching a settlement.

Gender duress in marital agreements: an Australian case study

Marital agreements are not yet part of English cultural life. But undoubtedly family lawyers are now being increasingly asked to draft them. For many of us, our continued anxiety and worry is the pressure put on the financially weaker party, often although not always the wife, to enter into an agreement which is less good than relying on the law. Sometimes it can be very disadvantageous.

DB v PB: Unfair marital agreements, chaos of EU law and unusual routes to fairness

David Hodson OBE 

Divorce Settlement Calculator

Prepared by iFLG based on the law to help individuals and couples towards reaching a settlement.

iGuide: Where should I divorce?

On relationship breakdown there is potentially opportunity to divorce or dissolve your civil partnership in more than one country. This iGuide sets out some of the things that you should take into account when deciding where to divorce.

FAQ: Forum Choice

Frequently asked questions ­about Forum Choice

iGuide: Divorces Within Europe

Where you can potentially divorce in one or more European Country extreme caution is required. Our iGuide sets out a little more of the difficulties in this situation.

iGuide: Divorces Outside of Europe

This iGuide explains some of the issues where one or more countries (one being outside of Europe) can potentially deal with a divorce.

iGuide: Enforcing Foreign Financial Orders in England

The enforcement of orders made abroad in England is a complex area. Here is our iGuide to the process.

Podcast: Family Cases with an International Dimension

David Hodson speaks on family cases with an international dimension. For a lawyer dealing primarily with purely national cases, it can be rather a shock when a case arrives with an international element. What should the practitioner be alert to and what issues should be looked at?

Podcast: Jurisdiction in Divorce Cases

David Hodson speaks on the grounds for jurisdiction in divorce cases. This covers the notorious first to issue principle which applies in any case in which another in European country might be involved.  Specifically  it looks at good practice in the issuing of divorce petitions in such cases.

Podcast: Residence in English Law

David Hodson speaks on the concept of residence in English law, as it is the primary basis for jurisdiction. There have been recent case law developments bringing England closer into alignment with the European family law.

Divorce Jurisdiction and Forum after Brexit

By David Hodson OBE MICArb