Getting divorced abroad – financial aspects

If you are getting divorced and your spouse’s wealth is all held abroad, in principle you can still apply to a UK court to obtain your share. However, divorce proceedings abroad are often more complicated than in the UK with regard to what assets are held abroad and where, the range of powers that the court here could make and the difficulties, if any, that you could face around enforcing any order in the foreign country. You may also be required to adhere to local laws. Factors taken into consideration include:

• Whether or not you are both living overseas in the same location and need to file for divorce in that country

• Whether or not that divorce will be recognised in your home country

• Whether or not the divorce proceedings are being initiated by the spouse when the other party is overseas – most common in military life when one party is often away from home for extended periods

• If one party is overseas on a longer-term assignment and frequent travel back and forth is not possible, causing the couple to drift further apart

Even if you were divorced abroad it may be possible for your ex-spouse to apply to a UK court for financial orders arising out of your marriage against you. However, there are limitations to the orders that our courts can make and therefore you should seek advice from specialist divorce solicitors as to whether it would be better for you to start financial proceedings in the country where the divorce took place instead.

International family law is a complex area and the position varies greatly from country to country. Contact one of our specialist Divorce lawyers at the earliest opportunity to ensure you receive the most expert legal advice