International Family Law UK

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

Which country should I divorce in?

If you live overseas you may be able to divorce in England and Wales.  If you live in England and Wales you may be able to divorce overseas.  You need to take legal advice in all possible jurisdictions to ascertain which will produce the best outcome for you and your family.

International Property and Assets

All assets will be considered by the courts in England and Wales during financial proceedings on divorce.  These will need to be declared as part of thefinancial disclosure exercise.

If you have an overseas maintenance order from a court of another EU member state, EU law will help you enforce that order in this country.

Married overseas?

You may have married overseas and wish to present a divorce petition in this country.

If you have a marriage certificate in a language other than English or Welsh, you will need to obtain a translation of that document certified by a notary public or authenticated by a statement of truth.

It is frequently the case that if divorce petitions are presented to a foreign court and the English court, the one which is “first in time” is the one that is permitted to proceed.  You should therefore consider ordering the certified translated copy of your overseas marriage certificate now, if you consider that this may be a relevant issue for you.  If necessary, it is possible to apply to the court for the right to lodge a divorce petition without the translated marriage certificate.

Are you in a polygamous marriage?

Polygamous marriages are automatically “void” if you are domiciled in England and Wales.  A void marriage will be annulled by the courts of England and Wales.  This is different to a “non-marriage”, which is a marriage deemed to never have taken place.

If polygamous marriages are permitted in your country of residence, and your polygamous marriage ceremony complied with the laws of the country in which it took place, it will be dealt with as a valid marriage in this country.