The Family Court
Applications are made pursuant to Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. Successful applications must satisfy the following requirements:
- The overseas divorce must be recognised as valid in England and Wales; and
- The applicant must not have remarried.
In addition, permission is required from the Family Court before the application can proceed.
Navigating International Divorce
Due to the complexities of navigating another country’s legal system, it is vital that you seek legal advice from a family lawyer with experience in dealing with divorce cases involving international issues.
The experts in our family law team have a wealth of experience in international divorce proceedings and are extremely knowledgeable in respect of the key issues of domicile, habitual residence, and foreign-held assets.
Within our team we have a specialist in international divorce and family law proceedings, Dorota Beange. Our family law experts have dealt with complex international matters involving a significant number of other countries, including:
International Divorce Proceedings
Whether or not the court will have jurisdiction to deal with a Part III application will depend on whether a sufficient connection to England and Wales can be shown.
This jurisdictional requirement can be satisfied in one of three ways:-
- Either person being domiciled in England and Wales at the time of the application for permission, or being domiciled in England and Wales at the time of the foreign divorce.
- Either person being habitually resident in England and Wales for a period of at least one year at the time of the application for permission, or being habitually resident in England and Wales for a period of at least one year at the time of the foreign divorce.
- Either of the parties having an interest in a property in England and Wales at the time of the application for permission, provided that property was also the family home at some point in the marriage (N.B. if jurisdiction is satisfied by this third point only, then the range of available financial orders is much more limited).
At both the permission stage, and during the main proceedings, the Family Court has a duty to consider the appropriateness of making financial orders.
Various factors will be taken into account, including the extent of the connection the parties have to England and Wales. Provided the threshold is met, then the same orders that could be made in respect of a domestic divorce and financial application may be made in the international landscape.