Real life internet brides are fleecing big-hearted Brits for thousands of pounds each year, a leading firm of solicitors has warned.
On Little Britain, Ting Tong, the mail order bride who turns up on the doorstep of lonely Dudley, has become a comedy favourite.
But experience shows that some real life internet partners are latching on to lonely singles in the UK with the sole intention of taking their cash and winning a British passport.
Now family law experts Woolley & Co are warning people in this position to secure their assets before dipping in for a ring to avoid being left broken-hearted and with empty pockets. “UK lawyers are increasingly dealing with cases where a spouse from abroad just might have an agenda to obtain British citizenship and to make some substantial capital,” said Andrew Woolley, senior partner with Woolley & Co, the “virtual” law firm that specialises in offering legal services online via www.family-lawfirm.co.uk.
“We are now coming across cases where the spouse from abroad stays married just long enough to obtain a passport and to ensure a reasonable share of the marital assets – around five years on average – and then files for divorce.
“In such cases, the overseas spouse will be entitled to a good part of the assets, even where these were pre-owned by the UK spouse. In one recent case, a Russian lady was awarded £140,000 after a five-year marriage, even though she did not have a penny to her name when she arrived in the UK, the award representing around 35 per cent of the value of the husband's previously owned house and savings.
“We would urge anyone thinking of bringing a partner over from abroad to seek legal advice first. You can protect your assets by entering into a properly drawn-up and executed pre-nuptial agreement. If it is true love, your partner will not mind and it could save heartache – and a substantial amount of wealth – further down the road.”
For advice on divorce and family matters contact Woolley & Co on 0800 321 3832 or email here