Advice for expats divorcing in England & Wales
Woolley & Co lawyers Kate Butler and Judith Buckland explain to Dave Harries of Communicate TV why some people can get divorced in England even if they live abroad.
Dave Harries: Kate, Woolley & Co have a reputation for being experts at expat divorces, so tell me what are the peculiarities for a UK couple living abroad who want to get divorced.
Kate Butler: The first thing we have to be able to show is whether there is even jurisdiction for them to be able to get divorced in this country. Part of the consideration at that very early stage is to suggest to all of our clients, that it is really important they find out what might happen if they started their divorce in the country that they are living in. Obviously there are very different rules and regulations in different countries all over the world and for example, the way a particular country might insist that you share your assets out may be very, very different in another country So finding out at a very early stage what the consequences could be of divorcing here compared to divorcing in the state that you might be living in is really important.
Judith Buckland: And just following on from that, I think one very important factor is to look at what would happen with regard to the asset in any country. So when talking to the lawyer of the domestic country that you are in, you need to find out what that country’s policy would be with regard to enforcing any financial order against an asset in that country because it can often be very difficult to do it from this country. So for example, if you have got an English divorce and made an order about an asset in a foreign country, one thing you must consider is how would I enforce that order if there are problems. One of the things that we all of us do in that regard is to make sure that we speak with experts of the country so that our orders in England are drafted so as to maximise the possibilities of enforcing in another country.