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Family -lawIn recent years, there has been a significant increase in international divorce cases. 

More people are travelling within the UK, to Europe and further afield for work and personal reasons. We have dealt with many marriage breakdowns where one or both parties are domiciled or resident in different jurisdictions. In these situations we are able to access appropriate legal support to get the best outcome for you.

What do you need to consider?

International divorce cases are typically more complex than those taking place within one country. It’s important to get legal advice tailored to your individual situation so you know where you stand before proceeding with your case.

Listed below are some important areas you need to consider when your divorce may involve different jurisdictions:

  • Your divorce case doesn’t have to take place in your country of marriage
  • Your country of marriage
  • The country/countries you lived in as a married couple
  • Your country of residence when filing for divorce

It may be more beneficial for you/your spouse to seek a divorce in a different country because of their laws

Even within the UK, divorce laws vary between countries. For example, because of the ‘clean break’ principle in Scots Law, there is less likely to be an award of ongoing support after divorce. In England & Wales, a spouse may have to continue to support their ex financially long after they’ve divorced - it’s important to note that this depends on the specifics of each case.


Financial provision on divorce

Finances play a major role in most divorce cases. Again, different countries have their own laws regarding financial provision on divorce and financial disclosure so the country a divorce takes place in can make a significant difference to the final settlement you receive.

Time and legal costs

On the face of it, filing for divorce in a certain country may look appealing, but you need to look at the wider picture.

The amount of time it takes for a divorce case to be dealt with can vary considerably between different jurisdictions. This is another reason why it’s so important to speak to an experienced divorce lawyer first. What may seem at the outset like a quick and seamless process, could end up taking much longer than you initially expected.

And when we’re talking about time, there will be an associated cost too. Filing for divorce in a country where you think you’ll get the best financial settlement may turn out to be a false economy if your legal bills spiral out of control. Also, if you’re not resident in the country you’re seeking a divorce in, you may have additional travel costs if you’re required to attend court for example.

Whether you’re looking to take the first step in an international divorce or your spouse has filed for a divorce in a different country and you need advice, contact Fiona below to get tailored legal advice based on your circumstances.

Fiona Rasmusen
Partner, Head of Family Law
Do you need help? I specialise in family law, divorce, separation, child contact and residence, prenuptial agreements and separation agreements.
Edinburgh: 0131 208 2260
Glasgow: 0141 628 0656
or Request a callback