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International Divorce & Jurisdictional


Duncan Lewis International Family Law Solicitors – International Divorce and Jurisdictional Issues


Often people can secure a divorce in more than one country and it is vital to get advice very early on as to how jurisdiction can be established in a country, particularly as jurisdiction is very often time sensitive. 


There can be a race for one party to issue a divorce in their country of choice, before the other party, as generally, the court that is first seized of jurisdiction will deal with the divorce.


Further expert advice is necessary in order to decide which jurisdiction is the most advantageous, as jurisdiction can impact upon financial arrangements and future financial security. As such, it is crucial to apply for a divorce in the jurisdiction which can offer you the most protection in a divorce settlement, and protect your property and financial assets. Taking legal advice on where to apply for an international divorce is imperative due to the complex differences in divorce and family law between jurisdictions.


It’s now more important than ever to seek advice on divorce and establishing jurisdiction within a European Union country.  Presently if a divorce is commenced in one EU country there is a possibility of it being transferred to the court of another EU country. Post Brexit the legal position with regards to jurisdiction and divorces will change.


Some of the main international divorce matters likely to involve jurisdictional issues include:

  • Child custody and support
  • Division of property
  • Financial settlements
  • Inheritance, wills and trusts
  • Life assurance
  • Maintenance payments
  • Pensions entitlement
  • Sharing joint assets (property, investments)
  • Tax arrangements


What are the differences between jurisdictions?


Differences between jurisdictions can vary enormously. Some jurisdictions for example, will apply divorce law relating to the country of the non-native partner in a divorce case, which depending on the jurisdiction in question, may be beneficial or disadvantageous.


There will almost always be a residency requirement in applying for a divorce in a particular jurisdiction. Establishing residency rights can be highly complex, especially if one or both parties travel frequently or conduct business overseas and spend a large proportion of their time abroad.


Child contact, residence, and inheritance are also more complex in cases involving international divorce and require expert legal advice and assistance. Since laws between different jurisdictions can change over time, taking up-to-date legal advice from a specialist international family law solicitor is vital to ensure future financial security as well as the security and inheritance of any current or future children.


Why choose Duncan Lewis International Family Law Solicitors?


Our international family law solicitors have a successful track record in advising clients on international divorce and jurisdictional issues.


The team works closely with our highly successful child care, housing, immigration and litigation departments and can also advise on international divorce and jurisdictional issues under Islamic law.


In cases involving contested international divorce, our international family law solicitors can advise on alternatives to court action, including dispute resolution and lawyer supported family mediation.


The Duncan Lewis Family department is ranked by The Legal 500 for its Family & Matrimonial work and includes members of both the Law Society Family Law Advanced Panel and the Law Society Children Law Panel.


We are one of the select number of firms in the UK that are on the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) referral list, and the team also includes a founding member of the Child Abduction Lawyers’ Association (CALA).


A number of our solicitors are also members of Resolution, a family law association committed to resolving family disputes and problems fairly and amicably. Many are listed on the Reunite website.


Collectively, our staff can speak over 60 languages and our international family solicitors have a network of affiliates overseas, making us well placed to advise on international adoption in different jurisdictions.


Duncan Lewis International Family Law Solicitors – Fixed Fee Legal Advice on International Divorce & Jurisdictional Issues


How can I fund my international divorce?


We offer an initial client meeting with a fixed fee for legal advice on international divorce involving jurisdictional issues.


Once the details of a case have been assessed it is usually possible to offer a further fixed fee scale, which will be discussed with the client.


We advise clients who are considering ending an international marriage to get in touch as soon as possible for an assessment of their case. Taking legal advice early in relation to divorce or separation in an international marriage can help focus on the practicalities and make the process as stress-free as possible. 


For expert legal advice on international divorce and jurisdictional issues, contact our International Family Law Solicitors in confidence on 033 3772 0409.


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