International divorce is a complex area. Financial matters and other outcomes can differ depending on which country legal proceedings are issued in. It is therefore vital to act quickly and take urgent legal steps to protect your position.
Myerson are members of MSI Global Alliance. This is an international association of 250 independent member firms of lawyers and accountants in more than 100 countries. This enables our family law solicitors to quickly locate reliable, local expertise from anywhere in the world, which can be useful when we are dealing with international legal matters.
Our specialist international family law solicitors can assist you with: -
- Pre and post-nuptial agreements: Our family law solicitors can assist you with pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements to regulate overseas property.
- International Divorce: Our family law solicitors are experts in international divorce and can assist you with your financial settlement following an overseas marriage or divorce.
- Offshore Assets and Financial Proceedings: Our family law solicitors can investigate offshore assets on divorce and provide fast, emergency action to hopefully prevent your spouse/civil partner from dissipating foreign assets.
- International children disputes: Our family law solicitors regularly assist people who wish to take their children overseas or wish to resist applications to remove children from this jurisdiction. We also act for people based overseas who wish to maintain a relationship with their child in the UK by establishing contact with them.
- Religious Marriage or Divorce: Our family law solicitors can advise on your legal rights following a religious ceremony carried out in England & Wales.
It is common to find parties to a marriage involved in a race for the jurisdiction of their choice. Divorce proceedings may be issued in England, provided that:
- both parties are habitually resident in England & Wales;
- both parties were last habitually resident in England & Wales and one of them continues to reside there;
- the respondent is habitually resident in England & Wales;
- the petitioner is habitually resident in England & Wales and has resided there for at least one year before the divorce petition is presented;
- the petitioner is domiciled in England & Wales and has been habitually resident in England & Wales for at least six months before the divorce petition is presented; or
- the petitioner and the respondent are both domiciled in England & Wales.
The English legal system and in particular, London, has a reputation for being ‘the divorce capital of the world’. This means that a spouse may receive a much higher financial award comparative to other jurisdictions.
Time may be of the essence where there are competing jurisdictions in which proceedings can be issued. If there is an international element to your relationship, you should speak to one of our specialist family law solicitors as soon as possible.
Our divorce solicitors will advise you on the best place to issue proceedings and make sure that you protect yourself and your assets.
Offshore Assets on Divorce
Financial matters on divorce can become more complicated where there are sophisticated ownership structures in place to disguise assets & reduce financial wealth.
Offshore assets may be held as a foreign holiday home, overseas foreign bank account or overseas pension fund.
Sometimes, assets are protected in offshore trusts following legitimate tax saving exercises. In other cases, assets may have been placed overseas to dissipate assets.
Unfortunately, spouses may transfer money overseas or own offshore property or other assets, without the other spouse knowing. It is therefore important that you investigate the existence and nature of the international assets as far as possible so that urgent steps can be taken to protect those assets and to prevent them from being dissipated.