International Family Law UK

Moving to England: am I entitled to divorce here?

If you reside overseas and are relocating to England and Wales, does this entitle you to divorce in England and Wales?  Within the EU, the rules as to where you should divorce are set down in EU law.  These rules apply to all EU member countries (except for Denmark). You are entitled to divorce in England and Wales if it is the country in which:

  • you and your spouse usually live,
  • you and your spouse were most recently living, insofar as one of you still resides here,
  • your spouse usually lives,
  • you live, provided you have lived here for at least a year immediately before the application is made,
  • you live, if you resided here for at least six months immediately before the application was made and you are domiciled in this country;
  • both you and your spouse are domiciled here.

If you do not fall within these requirements, and no other EU country will be applicable to your case on the basis of these rules, you may still be able to divorce if England and Wales is your country of domicile.

The concept of “domicile” is a technical term with a specific legal meaning, so please contact us if you need advice on this. You may be domiciled in England and Wales, even if you were not born here.