Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Does It Matter What Country I Get Divorced In?

Many people now lead international lives, marrying someone from another country or living in more than one country. If these people decide to divorce they may be able to issue divorce proceedings in more than one country. Does it make any difference where they get divorced?

Yes is the simple answer. Firstly, the divorce process varies from country to country. In the US all states now allow no fault divorce. However, you can only have a no fault divorce in England if you have been separated for at least two years and your spouse agrees to the divorce proceeding on this basis.

More importantly, the financial settlement that you can achieve on divorce varies significantly from country to country. You should therefore take advice from specialist family lawyers in all the relevant countries to find out which country would provide you with the most advantageous settlement. This is known as "forum shopping".

If you live an international life and your marriage ends, it is important that you take legal advice quickly regarding the appropriate country to start divorce proceedings in as your spouse may be rushing to issue divorce proceedings in another country. This is known as "forum racing". Ususally the first to issue their divorce proceedings ensures that the divorce is dealt with in their country of choice.

For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts.

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