International Divorce

International Divorce

Many separating couples have ties with other countries, whether by birth or due to spending all or much of their time living in a different country. In situations such as these, where should divorce proceedings be commenced? Here we answer many of the frequently asked questions in relation to international divorce.

Am I able to get divorced under the English legal system?

In order to commence legal divorce proceedings in England and Wales, there are certain criteria that must be met. These include:

  • You and your former partner are both residents in England or Wales
  • You live in England or Wales and have done so for a minimum of 12 months prior to commencing proceedings.
  • Either you or your former partner are legally domiciled in England or Wales. – You may still be currently living abroad however, your permanent residence must be in England or Wales

Whilst this is the case, divorce proceedings will take place under the jurisdiction of the country where the divorce petition is issued.

Whilst this provides an outline of the criteria, if you are unsure if you can commence divorce proceedings under English Law, please contact Kara Webster or Nicholas Clough on 0161 6155554 or by email to or

What do I need to consider when deciding which country to divorce in?

The division of financial assets in England and Wales can differ significantly to how they are split in other countries. In order to decide which country you would be best placed to commence divorce proceedings in, you should consider the way in which assets are potentially split, and also where those assets are located, eg any foreign property.

How are child arrangements determined in international divorce?

Child arrangements are primarily determined by the jurisdiction of the courts where the children are habitually resident. However, there could potentially be a ‘grey’ area depending upon the laws of a particular country or whether the child’s domicile is different to where they are currently residing and their circumstances at the time.

If you would like to speak to a member of the Price Slater Gawne team regarding international divorce, please contact Kara Webster or Nicholas Clough on 0161 6155554, by email to or or via our live chat tab.