Advice Centre

Is There Anything I Can Do To Prepare for International Divorce?

Posted by Posted in Divorce, Family and Children

If you are considering divorce or believe your spouse may seek a divorce in the near future, you may wonder whether there is anything you can do. Waiting for something to happen is never easy, particularly when it comes to emotional matters, and it is likely you are impatient to take action and get things moving.

When there is an international element to your marriage, getting divorced may be slightly more complicated. However, this means there are several things you may wish to do before you begin divorce proceedings to ensure you are prepared and in the best position to begin the process. In this article, we take you through some actions you may wish to take and some things to consider before you begin international divorce proceedings.

Analyse and interrogate the financial picture

We would recommend that clients do this even where their divorce will be straightforward, but it is particularly important for our international clients. You should take an inventory of all of your assets, as well as your assets overseas. If you instruct a solicitor at this early stage, they will be able to advise you as to whether these assets are likely to be regarded as ‘matrimonial property’ in the UK, and how they will be treated in divorce. This may give you an opportunity to protect certain assets.

Understand what you want out of the divorce

Whether it was your decision or not to bring your marriage to an end, you should consider what you would like the practical and financial outcome to be. Do you wish to maintain a good relationship with your partner for the sake of your children or a business you own together? Do you want to protect your wealth as much as possible? Do you want custody of your children or take them to live with you overseas? Understanding your goals and explaining them clearly to your lawyer can help them build a strategy and represent you in a way aligned with what you wish the outcome to be.

Find out where you can get divorced and analyse the law

You may need a solicitor to help you with this task, but it is important to understand how much of an impact where you choose to divorce could have on the outcome of the proceedings. If you and your spouse live in the UK but have substantial connections to other jurisdictions, you may have the option of getting divorced in the UK or in the other jurisdiction. Your solicitor will be able to advise you of any jurisdiction you may qualify for. The reasons you may wish to choose another jurisdiction include:

  • Child custody matters and the jurisdiction’s treatment of children in divorce matters
  • What is regarded as matrimonial property
  • The method of asset division used by the courts
  • Grounds for divorce – for example, England & Wales now has ‘no fault divorce’ which means no grounds for divorce are necessary.
  • Rules about spousal maintenance

Do you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement?

If you and your spouse have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you may wish to look at the details of this with a solicitor. Such an agreement may also affect which jurisdiction you decide to get divorced in, as some jurisdictions may not recognise such agreements between spouses.

Consider the future of your family

We understand that untangling a relationship and in many cases, your interconnected lives can seem complicated and overwhelming. It is important to consider how you see your future and your family’s future to guide you through the divorce process. Think about where you want to live, do you want to sell the family home? Should your spouse live there with your children, or do you wish to remain there? How often do you want to see your children? Do you want them to live with you? What assets are you willing to part with if you need to? Do you need to make arrangements for any business you own together?

Contact IMD – International Family Law Solicitors

In this difficult time, our specialist multi-cultural team of international family solicitors can offer you expert advice and representation in all aspects of divorce, separation, finances and issues relating to children. For an initial consultation, call the International Family Solicitors at IMD Solicitors on 0330 107 0107 or request a call back.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.

Published by:

Iwona DurlakSenior Partner

Family Law – IMD Solicitors LLP

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