What Do You Need To Know About International Divorce?

What Do You Need To Know About International Divorce?

An international divorce might occur where you or your partner have a significant connection to another country that isn’t in the UK.

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What Do You Need To Know About International Divorce?

Marriage is an undoubtedly beautiful thing, which can bring fullness, richness, and completeness to a couple regardless of their background or journey. It is, of course, an unfortunate fact of life that not all marriages end in harmony.

According to the ONS, over 103,000 divorces were granted in 2020 alone. But what if the divorce is a little more complicated – and another country is involved?

Understanding International Divorce

‘International divorce’ is a catch-all term for the dissolution of a marriage where more than one country of residence or origin is concerned. International divorce is necessarily nebulous as a term, and can mean drastically different things to different people.

This is on account of the varying situations in which a divorcing couple may find themselves, and the varying laws inherent to any related countries.

In essence, an international divorce might occur where you or your partner have a significant connection to another country that isn’t in the UK. Your partner may be estranged and living or returning abroad, or you may have a link to a non-EU country with divorce laws you wish to benefit from.

Between the countries that make up the UK alone, there are different rules for the management of property in a divorce; the differences are even wide the farther afield you look.

These international differences can present legal opportunities and challenges in equal measure, depending on your situation.

Are Marriages Abroad Recognised in the UK?

One of the leading questions asked by citizens seeking some form of international divorce relates to the legality of a marriage occurring in another country, with respect to UK law.

This can get complicated, but the simple answer is that marriages abroad are formally recognized in English courts – provided that the legal criteria for said foreign marriage were initially met.

For the unfamiliar, this can pose an issue. In the event that a foreign marriage was not found to be legally valid, the English court would be unable to receive a petition for divorce from you; this is because the court cannot recognize the marriage to begin with. Instead, a petition of nullity would have to be placed – with different legal consequences.

Seeking Advice

Ultimately, the field of international divorce is much more complicated than any one individual could hope to comprehend, and presents countless specific issues that could only be cleared up with legal advice from a professional.

In order to properly survey your options with regard to your intentions, consultation with a specialist would be helpful.

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