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International Divorce and Expat Divorce

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“If everything was perfect you would never learn and you would never grow.”

What countries can I get divorced in?

International couples can often get divorced in more than one country. Where you get divorced can have a significant impact on the financial settlement that you receive and also the amount of time that it takes to get divorced. You therefore need to find out what your options are before and where to issue your divorce before divorce proceedings are issued.

  • If you are from England or Wales but currently live in another EU country, you may not be able to get divorced here unless you or your spouse returns to live here for a period of time. You are likely to be able to get divorced where you currently live. Taking specialist advice at an early stage can help you decide if you need to take certain actions to make sure that you are in the best possible position should you decide to divorce.
  • If you are from England or Wales but currently live in a non-EU country, you should be able to get divorced here, if you are not able to get divorced in another EU country. You are also likely to be able to get divorced where you currently live.
  • If you are not from England or Wales but currently live in England or Wales, you are likely to be able to get divorced here.
  • If you are not from England or Wales but your spouse is and neither of you currently lives here, you may be able to get divorced here.

If I have a choice what country should I get divorced in?

If you can get divorced in more than one country it is very important that you take specialist advice from a divorce lawyer qualified in the relevant jurisdictions. The financial settlements that divorce courts make vary significantly from country to country. The English and Welsh courts have traditionally been more generous to the less wealthy spouse than in other countries, which has resulted in many high profile international divorces taking place here. Only when you have received specialist advice can you decide which in country is best for you to get divorced.

 

How quickly do I need to issue my divorce?

If you can get divorced in more than one country you need to issue your divorce proceedings in your country of choice as quickly as possible, as your spouse may also be taking legal advice and may want to issue divorce proceedings in different country from you because it is more beneficial for them. The country where the divorce proceedings are first issued will usually deal with the divorce.

What happens to our children if we divorce?

When international couples separate, one of them may want to move to another country with the children. You cannot take your children to live in another country without the agreement of your spouse or a court order allowing you to do this. If you do take your children to live in another country without your spouse’s consent this is likely to be considered child abduction. You need to take specialist advice before making any decisions regarding arrangements for your children.

 

What additional specialist help might I need if my spouse or I live abroad or have assets abroad?

When getting divorced it is often necessary to get specialist valuation reports for properties, art, antiques, yachts etc. We regularly obtain such reports and have contacts around the world that can assist with this.

Specialist tax advice is also often needed from different countries regarding the sale or transfer of assets and how different countries deal with the taxation of the payment and receipt of spousal and child maintenance. We regularly obtain this advice, often from accountants that are dual qualified, so that they can advise on the tax implications for a spouse that is living here and a spouse that is living in another country.

Contact Us

If you are considering a separation, it is imperative that you seek immediate specialist advice from one of our international experts.  Contact our team today to arrange a consultation.

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