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International Divorce FAQs


Divorce is often a challenging time for anyone. If there are international aspects to consider, this can add to the stress. 

Our International Matrimonial Law specialists answer the questions they are most commonly asked about International Divorces:

 1. Can I Divorce in England & Wales even if I am not currently living there? 

Yes, you can providing that your spouse remains living in England or Wales, or you or your spouse are Domiciled in England and Wales. For a full explanation of the jurisdiction criteria, please see our International divorce guidance here.

2. Why should I Divorce in England and Wales if I am living overseas? 

The English Court system will be familiar with most English/Welsh citizens; it uses the English language meaning that documents will not have to be translated for you. It is well equipped to deal with overseas divorces, dealing with several on a day to day basis and may be able to determine your dispute without you having to leave your overseas country. Some of the other benefits are:
  • Fair;
  • Impartial;
  • Efficient;
  • Incorruptible;
  • Easily accessible; and
  • Some cases can be dealt with online 

3. What is the International Divorce process?

The Divorce process itself remains the same for International Divorces as domestic Divorces. There may be additional service requirements depending on which country your spouse is living in at the time of the Divorce but the court process and court fee remains the same. The court fee for issuing a Divorce Application is currently £550.00. For more information click here

4. How will I communicate with my International Family Lawyer? 

With most people being online all of the time, email tends to be the quickest and easiest way of communicating in all cases. We can also speak on the phone, text or WhatsApp or if you prefer a face to face meeting we can facilitate Skype or FaceTime/WhatsApp video calls. If the need arises we can arrange a meeting at one of our 6 offices if you are in England or possibly meet you in your country. 

5. I have obtained a Divorce outside of England and Wales, is it valid?

Overseas Divorces are recognised in England and Wales as well so long as the divorce/dissolution was legally obtained in that country. In other words, if the Divorce was legal and valid in the country where it was granted it will be recognised in England and Wales. 

See our guide to foreign marriages and Divorces here.

6. I have Divorced overseas but have property and assets in England, how will these be dealt with? 

Depending on whether the overseas court have dealt with the assets you have in England you may be able to apply to the court here to determine the outcome of those assets. If the court failed to deal with the assets or the outcome was grossly unfair and has left you in financial hardship you may be able to make a claim in the English Courts in respect of those assets under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984.

 7. I am divorcing in England and Wales but I have property and assets overseas, how will these be dealt with?

Property, investments, money and possessions that are held abroad can be dealt with by the courts of England and Wales like any other asset on Divorce and will be considered by the Court determining the financial settlement. It is however important to note that a Court Order is only effective in the country it is made, not all Court Orders can be enforced in all places of the world. It is therefore crucial that you obtain early legal advice to understand your options, and if necessary, seek legal advice in the country where the asset is held.

More information  

For more detailed and specific advice on surrogacy arrangements please contact our Family Law Team who will be happy to assist. 

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