Divorce & Dissolution

Foriegn Marriages

It is common for married couples or civil partners to have different nationalities. Even where they have the same nationality they may have married or lived abroad for extensive periods. They may have property and pension rights elsewhere. Before divorce or dissolution proceedings can be brought in England and Wales the marriage or civil partnership has to be recognised and the court has to have jurisdiction (power) to end it.

We have acted for many clients who have not only married in America and Europe but also Africa and Asia.

If the marriage certificate is not in English it will be necessary to obtain a certified translation approved by the court which will be lodged with the original certificate when the proceedings are issued.

In March 2001 a European Directive came into force which clearly sets out the criteria for issuing divorce proceedings in England and Wales. One of the following must be satisfied:

  1. Both parties live in England and Wales;
  2. Both parties were jointly habitually resident in England and Wales and one spouse still resides here;
  3. The Respondent is habitually resident in England and Wales;
  4. The Petitioner has been habitually resident in England and Wales for the last 12 months;
  5. The Petitioner is domiciled in England and Wales and has resided here for at least six months;
  6. Both parties are domiciled in England and Wales.

If you were married abroad and are considering a divorce please call us for further advice and information.

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