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International Divorce

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If your family frequently travels for work and pleasure or has homes in different parts of the world or if you, your spouse or children have international connections, then in any divorce proceedings there may be international considerations that should be carefully looked at by a UK family law solicitor with experience of international divorce. 

With the international divorce and family law team at OTS Solicitors on your side, you can trust their specialist knowledge of international family law gained through experience of representing their international client base in both personal and business law related matters.


International divorce solicitors

To speak to our top family law solicitors based in the heart of London, please contact call us on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.


International divorce considerations

The considerations involved in international divorce cases do not just involve the logistical challenges of families living in different countries, continents and time zones. However, an international divorce lawyer who understands the pressures involved in communication and travel when you are going through an international divorce or embroiled in international children law proceedings or financial settlement litigation can help minimise the stress of an international divorce.


International divorce legal advice

No international divorce case is clear-cut. Many divorcing couples do not realise or fully appreciate the impact of international divorce considerations on their court jurisdiction options, the likely childcare arrangements or their financial settlement.  That is why UK divorce solicitors advise that it is best to take early legal advice if you are aware of any potential international divorce aspects. Delaying getting legal advice can have serious consequences in an international divorce.


Examples of international divorce

Your divorce may have an international element to it in a variety of different scenarios, for example:

  • If you and/or your spouse are not a British citizen/s or one/both of you has dual nationality;

  • If you or your spouse are not domiciled in the UK;

  • If your marriage took place overseas;

  • If although at least one of you is British or has significant ties to Britain , you and/or your spouse are not currently living in England;

  • If although at least one of you is British or has significant ties to Britain , you and/or your spouse have spent all your marriage or significant parts of your marriage  overseas;

  • If you or your spouse own foreign property or have overseas business interests;

  • If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement overseas;

  • You married your spouse overseas and there is a concern that your marriage  or divorce might not be legally recognised in the UK;

  • You are concerned that because of international connections, your children may be taken overseas to live, or you fear child abduction to a foreign country or you want to take your children abroad to live and your spouse objects to the children’s removal from the UK. 


International divorce issues

In an international divorce, your UK divorce solicitor has to consider special issues such as:

  • Court jurisdiction- The court jurisdiction for your divorce and financial settlement proceedings. This is because if there is potentially more than one court jurisdiction available the wrong choice of country in which to start divorce proceedings could have a massive impact on the size of the financial award and financial settlement. For example, if you get divorced in country A and their divorce and financial settlement laws are applied to your divorce and asset division, you may receive far less than if you had elected to start divorce proceedings and financial settlement proceedings in country B. That is why it is essential to take early specialist legal advice on international divorce to ensure that the court jurisdiction best meets your circumstances. A UK international divorce solicitor will work with overseas solicitors to establish which divorce court jurisdiction is the best option for you;

  • Financial provision after overseas divorce - If you and your spouse divorced overseas then, in some circumstances, the English court can still make financial provision even if a financial court order was made abroad. The legislation, Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984, enables an English court to make a financial court order if a husband and wife have substantial connections with England;

  • International divorce and financial settlement - If your spouse has international ties and offshore assets (such as trusts or complex company structures or investments) then there is the potential for non-disclosure of assets in English financial settlement proceedings. An international divorce solicitor will work with asset tracing services, forensic accountants and financial experts to secure the best financial settlement for you and can, if appropriate, apply for injunction and asset freezing orders, court tracing orders and joinder of third parties to the court proceedings;

  • International children proceedings - If you have children with your spouse, there may be concerns about the country in which the children will live after the divorce or worries about child abduction. Even if your children are not British citizens the court in England may have jurisdiction to decide the country your children should be brought up in and the contact arrangements;

  •  International families and immigration - If you are not a British citizen, your divorce may affect your immigration status in the UK. OTS Solicitors immigration  experts can advise on if an immigration application is required;


Our international divorce solicitors have substantial experience in cross border disputes and potential multi jurisdiction proceedings. In an international divorce, financial or children law proceedings speed can be essential to protect your legal position, reserve assets or safeguard your children. The team of international divorce lawyers at OTS Solicitors will guide you through the complexities of an international divorce to help you achieve the result that best meets your personal, family and financial goals.


International divorce solicitors

Consultant, Chrissie Cuming Walters, is a dual qualified English solicitor and USA attorney and heads the international divorce and high net worth divorce client services team from OTS Solicitors’ base in the heart of London. For help, please contact her on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form. Appointments are available at our UK London offices or by video conferencing.
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