International Divorce Lawyers

International Divorce in the UK

It may be that you wish to end an unhappy marriage or you may have received a divorce petition from your spouse.  Whatever has happened, it is completely natural to start worrying about the future, your finances, your home and your children. If you are divorcing in another country, different laws will apply to making your financial settlement final, so it’s important to seek expert legal advice. At IMD Solicitors our international divorce lawyers are here to help.

  • You married abroad and are considering divorce in the UK?
  • You or your spouse live abroad?
  • You have children and you or your spouse are considering relocation?
  • You or your spouse have assets abroad?

Why Choose IMD Solicitors LLP?

At IMD Solicitors LLP, we understand the complexities and challenges that arise in legal matters with an international dimension. Here are key reasons why you should consider us for your legal needs:

  1. Expertise in Cases with International Elements: Our team is adept at handling intricate cases involving international elements, such as division of assets across borders, child abduction and child relocation. This makes us particularly suited for individuals with international family or business ties.
  2. Award-Winning Legal Excellence: We are proud recipients of multiple national awards, a testament to our commitment to legal excellence. Our awards reflect our high standards and dedication to achieving the best outcomes for our clients. You can check list of our awards by clicking here.
  3. Outstanding Client Testimonials: Our clients’ satisfaction speaks volumes about our services. We invite you to read the glowing testimonials on ReviewSolicitors, which showcase our ability to exceed client expectations.
  4. Proven Track Record in Complex Cases: Our firm has a proven track record of successfully handling complex legal cases, particularly those involving cross-border elements. Our expertise is especially beneficial for individuals seeking sophisticated legal solutions.
  5. Deep Cultural Understanding: At IMD Solicitors LLP, we recognise the significance of cultural nuances in legal matters. Our team, with its diverse cultural backgrounds, is uniquely positioned to understand and empathetically address the specific needs of clients from various international communities. This cultural insight is invaluable for clients who are either from outside the UK or in cross-cultural relationships, ensuring sensitive and informed handling of their legal affairs.
  6. Personalised and Compassionate Approach: We believe in a client-centric approach, offering personalised and compassionate legal advice. Understanding that each case is unique, we tailor our strategies to suit individual client needs.
  7. Comprehensive Legal Services: Beyond family law, we offer a wide range of legal services, making us a one-stop solution for all your legal needs, whether personal or business-related.
  8. Commitment to Client Communication: We believe in empowering our clients with knowledge. Our team ensures that you are well-informed about the legal processes and your options, enabling you to make educated decisions.
  9. Strategic International Networks: Our extensive network of international legal and professional contacts allows us to efficiently handle cases that span multiple jurisdictions, providing a seamless legal experience for our clients.
  10. High Ethical Standards: As a reputable law firm, we adhere to the highest ethical standards, ensuring transparency, integrity, and professionalism in all our dealings.

At IMD Solicitors LLP, we are dedicated to providing exceptional legal services with a global perspective. Contact us to experience legal support that is as unique and international as your needs.

We can advise and help you throughout the process. Contact Our International Divorce Solicitors based in London, Manchester and Birmingham

Our expert family law solicitors are ready to help. To arrange an initial consultation about divorce with an international family lawyer call us on 0330 107 0107 or request a free call back today.

International Divorce

Our specialist international divorce solicitors will help you every step of the way during this difficult time. Our divorce team are experienced in divorce proceedings with an international element and financial settlements.

The UK Divorce Process

In order to apply for a divorce, you no longer need to provide proof that your marriage has broken down. What this means is that you no longer need to base your divorce application on grounds such as adultery, unreasonable behaviour etc. Under the new divorce law (which came into force in April 2022), the person initiating the divorce process, no longer has to blame their spouse for the breakdown of their marriage.  

You may even file a joint divorce application, should you wish to do so and, if you are still on amicable terms, can have one solicitor acting for both of you.

To talk to a member of our specialist international divorce team, call us on 0330 107 0107 or request a free call back today.

Divorce Proceedings in the UK If Married Abroad 

Divorce proceedings can be brought in the UK, regardless of where the marriage took place (i.e abroad).  However, to file a divorce application in the UK, one of the following must apply:

  • Both spouses live in England or Wales with the intention of permanent residence
  • Both spouses have lived in England or Wales with the intention of permanent residence, and one of you still lives here
  • The spouse that has filed the divorce petition lives in England or Wales and has the intention of permanent residence
  • The spouse that has filed the divorce petition has lived in England or Wales for at least 12 months

To talk to a member of our specialist international divorce team, call us on 0330 107 0107 or request a free call back today.

The Divorce Process when you or your spouse live abroad

international family law, civil partnership

The first crucial step is to assess jurisdiction, as the UK courts have the authority to hear your divorce case if you or your spouse are “habitually resident” in either England and Wales. We will carefully evaluate your circumstances to determine if the UK courts have jurisdiction in your specific situation.

Once jurisdiction is established, we will assist you in filing the divorce petition with the appropriate UK court. Our meticulous attention to detail ensures that all necessary information is included, outlining the grounds for divorce and addressing any financial or child-related matters that may be relevant.

When your spouse resides abroad, serving the divorce documents becomes a vital consideration. Our skilled team is well-versed in international service procedures, ensuring that your spouse is properly notified of the divorce proceedings in accordance with legal requirements.

Upon receiving the divorce petition, your spouse will have the opportunity to respond within a specified timeframe. We will guide you through this process, handling any contestations that may arise and working towards a resolution that protects your rights and interests.

If the court determines that there are sufficient grounds for divorce or your spouse does not contest the proceedings, a decree nisi will be granted. This provisional decree signifies the court’s intention to dissolve the marriage, setting the stage for the next steps.

In addition to the divorce itself, we understand the significance of addressing financial settlements and child custody arrangements. Our compassionate lawyers will work diligently to safeguard your financial interests and ensure the best possible outcome for any children involved, navigating any complexities that arise due to the international nature of your case.

Finally, after a specified period from the decree nisi, we will assist you in applying for the decree absolute, the final decree of divorce. This legally dissolves the marriage, granting both parties the freedom to pursue new beginnings.

Navigating the process of divorce in the UK when one or both spouses live abroad requires skilled legal guidance.

To talk to a member of our specialist international divorce team, call us on 0330 107 0107 or request a free call back today.

Financial issues and settlements when assets are located abroad

If you need expert advice about the division of matrimonial assets and financial settlement proceedings, particularly if you have assets (properties, land, investments, businesses) located outside of the UK, click here to visit our financial issues and settlements web page to find out more.

International Children matters and contact disputes

If you are unable to agree on the arrangements with the other parent and need advice on the options available, we are happy to help. We always aim to ensure that any issues as to where your children should live or what contact they should have with the other parent are resolved in the best interest of the child. We have particular expertise in cases with an international element, such as international child relocation or abduction. Click here to visit our international children matters and contact disputes web page to find out more.

Want to know more?

Read some of our articles below or call us at 0330 107 0107 in order to arrange a free no no-obligation call or request a free quote.

Contact Our International Divorce Lawyers at our London, Manchester or Birmingham offices

To talk to a member of our specialist international divorce team, call us on 0330 107 0107 or request a free call back today.

Call now to discuss your case: 0330 107 0107
Request a call back Mon - Fri: 9am -5:30pm

Example of cases we have dealt with:

F v F - Acted for a German husband in a complex financial remedy matter. He decided to instruct IMD Solicitors after he had lost trust in his previously instructed solicitors and feared that he would not achieve a favourable outcome from the proceedings. The relevant assets were spread across the globe with some located in the UK (including a multi-million pound business), Gibraltar, Spain, Dubai, and Poland. The overall value of assets exceeded £24 million. The husband had been cut off from the matrimonial assets and excluded from control of the business that had been established by his family. The case involved the instruction of numerous experts, for business valuations, Capital Gains Tax reports, and opinions on the enforcement of orders in foreign jurisdictions, and dealing with several applications, including applications for orders to freeze assets, prevent the disposition of assets, for the joinder of parties, and to litigate conduct issues. The final result exceeded the client’s expectations.
L v L - We were instructed by a mother in a complex international children matter. She was required by orders of the UK courts to return the child to the UK from Poland. She had travelled with the child to Poland but, following unsuccessful application to extend her stay there in August 2017, she decided not to return to the UK because the child disclosed sexual abuse by a member of the paternal family and the father. In September 2018, the Polish court dismissed the father’s Hague Convention application for the child's return on the basis of Article 13(b), a decision which the father appealed. In March 2019, the father applied to the UK High Court for an order for the child’s return pursuant to the procedure set out in Article 11(6) – (8) of the Brussels IIA Regulation. Despite the father's unsuccessful Hague Convention application in Poland, the UK court ordered the return of the child. Article 11 does not allow the court of the returning country much discretion. After all of this, the mother instructed IMD Solicitors to apply to discharge the orders of the UK Court for the return of the child. Even in the face of the fact that most applications to discharge such return orders fail, we succeeded. We are currently awaiting a decision in the UK courts on a further application for the transfer of jurisdiction to the Polish courts where the mother resides with the child.
G v P - We represent a Spanish mother in respect of an urgent application for a Child Arrangements Order and Specific Issue Order in the UK seeking the relocation of the child to Spain. This was after the return of the child to the UK under Hague Convection proceedings which this mother lost in Spain. She was asking for an order for the relocation of the child back to Spain and an urgent interim Child Arrangements Order to allow her to see the child pending the final outcome of the UK proceedings. IMD successfully argued that, regardless of the return of the child to the UK under the Hague Convention, the mother should be allowed unsupervised overnight contact with the child. We were delighted to be able to secure her contact with the child for Christmas and she said that it was the best Christmas gift she could have wished for. The outcome of the application for the relocation is pending.
S v V - We currently represent the father in Child Arrangements Order proceedings issued by the mother in relation to variation of a UK order made in the face of numerous other international proceedings. He is an Italian National who has been living in France for the last 20 years and the mother is a Lithuanian national. The child is now 11 years old and proceedings concerning the child have been ongoing in various jurisdictions for the majority of the child`s life. Contested divorce proceedings including child arrangements took place in Monaco. The French Court and authorities were also involved, and various proceedings had been ongoing between parties since 2013 in France and Monaco. The parties’ divorce was pronounced in Monaco. Thereafter, in December 2020, the mother submitted an application to relocate to England with the child, and the relocation took place in June 2021. Upon relocation, the she lodged a child arrangement order application, seeking to register a judgment made in Monaco and to vary the same in respect of the contact arrangements between the father and the child. The father seeks for the child’s return to Monaco. Due to the parties’ mutual allegations and the associated international elements, various authorities and courts that have been involved in the case, the local authority has become involved with the family and a guardian has been instructed to represent the child in the UK proceedings. At present, these proceedings in England are ongoing and the outcome of the professional reports regarding the family are awaited.  
P v P - We have acted for the Respondent Husband in relation to the financial remedy proceedings in the UK. The parties had various assets in the UK and Romania consisting mainly of the portfolio of properties but conduct issues were raised by the Wife due to a business of the Husband over which she had lost control and her allegations of dissipation of assets. The value of assets excluding the business were in a region of £3 million. 
K v K - We act in financial remedy proceedings for a wife who is a Polish national. The matter's complexity mainly comes from a dispute between the parties around land in Poland. Its value was initially in dispute but was then assessed by a joint expert to be in the region of half a million pounds. The total assets in this case are estimated to be worth over £1 million. The land in Poland is a subject to contract with a third party and is being leased as a photovoltaic (solar) farm. The division of the land to achieve an equal share of the assets is complicated due to the contract in place and plans for the future use of the land. Currently the parties are awaiting a final hearing but efforts are being made to reach a settlement with the aid of alternative dispute resolution and in order to save the parties money and avoid further delays.
R v O - We acted pro bono and worked together with a law firm in Poland to ensure that the Costa Rican Mother regains access to her child. The Mother's only child was abducted from the UK in 2014. The Mother was successful with the abduction case and the UK family courts ordered the return of the child. The orders were recognised in Poland but unfortunately due to various issues with the Mother's immigration status and court's delays in Poland, the orders were never enforced. The Mother was facing removal from the UK and prospects of never seeing her child again. We have corresponded with various courts in Poland dealing with international abduction matters and we decided that an application for contact should be issued rather than any proceedings for further enforcement of the orders, as the Mother had not seen the child for around 7 years. At the same we secured the Mother's stay in the UK making successful outside of immigration rules application to extend her stay. We now receive regular photos from the Mother with her daughter, as face to face contact is taking place. We helped to secure an order of the Polish courts for the Mother to see the child regularly in person, whilst when she instructed us she was facing a prospect of never seeing her child again and being deported to Costa Rica.

Awards and Accreditations

Advice Centre

May 2024

Amendments to the Family Procedural Rules: Non-court Dispute Resolution

Read more

Do you have a Divorce issue that needs to be resolved in the UK?

Our international family law experts are ready to support and
help you