It is possible to commence divorce proceedings in England even if you were married abroad. Where the marriage took place is, in fact, somewhat immaterial, provided that the ceremony was carried out in accordance with the local formalities and customs of the country in which it took place. If it was, the marriage will be valid, and recognised as such in England.
Whether you can file a divorce petition in England depends upon whether certain jurisdictional criteria are met. This is set out in legislation (specifically an EU regulation, known as “Brussels II”). This states that the English court has jurisdiction to hear the divorce if, when the divorce petition is issued by the applicant (the person applying for a divorce), any of the following applies:
Domicile and habitual residence are complex legal concepts. The circumstances in which they apply, and how they apply, depends upon the specific facts of each case.
Vardags can help you ascertain the best jurisdiction in which to get divorced based upon your individual circumstances, since this decision can have far reaching financial implications. Making this decision in a timely manner is crucial, and Vardags’ experienced family lawyers will provide the support and advice required at each stage of this process, no matter where your marriage took place. Our longstanding network of specialist family lawyers abroad can also prove invaluable, particularly when there are time pressures involved.
Vardags advise on all issues arising from the breakdown of relationships for parties who were married abroad, dealing with disputes which have complex jurisdictional and offshore elements to them. Indeed, our lawyers deal on a day to day basis with high value jurisdiction disputes, and work on cases involving numerous European jurisdictions, but also those outside of Europe and further afield.
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.