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English jurisdiction

London is often called the “divorce capital of the world” and has earned a reputation for large payouts to the financially weaker parties. Though this reputation is a simplification of what happens, it is true that for many people London will be a far more advantageous place to get divorced.

The English courts have far more power to demand disclosure. They will make a wealthy party show the full extent of their assets, including business holdings and investments. The courts also have significant powers to enforce their orders, including freezing assets and sending people to prison if they refuse to co-operate with the courts.

As well as having greater powers in relation to asset discovery, the English courts view marriage as a partnership. This means that they will not discriminate between the person who makes the money and the person who looks after the home and children when it comes to dividing assets. Generally, this leads to more generous settlement for financially weaker parties.

In addition to these advantages, the English courts are renowned for being transparent and free of corruption. If your spouse is politically powerful, your best chance of a fair hearing may well be in England.

To have your case heard in the English courts, you will need to establish jurisdiction. Generally speaking, this will depend on where you have been living (“habitual residence”) or where you are domiciled (NB: this is not necessarily where you are domiciled for taxation purposes). Jurisdiction can be extremely complicated, and often time sensitive. If you are uncertain whether or not your divorce could be heard in the UK, it is important to take advice and to act quickly.

The information on this website is intended as a guide and does not constitute legal advice. Vardags do not accept liability for any errors in the information on this website, nor any losses stemming from reliance upon the statements made herein. All articles and pages aim to reflect the legal position at time they were published, and may have been rendered obsolete by subsequent developments in the law. Should you require specialist advice, tailored to your situation, please see how Vardags can help you.