Peter Baughan

Can the English courts deal with finances after a foreign divorce?

July 27, 2023

Peter Baughan was recently involved in a case which has been reported in the Law Reports and can be found here.

This was a quirky case! There was a dispute about which country should deal with a divorce. We obtained various orders in England, only for the divorce to be completed elsewhere. There was a jurisdiction race, where both sides race to get their divorce through the courts in different countries. Ultimately there can only be one divorce. However, we were still able to obtain a financial order in the English courts, despite the divorce being deal with abroad. The relevant law is the Matrimonial & Family Proceedings Act 1984 which allows the English courts to make financial orders after a foreign divorce, in certain circumstances.

We are seeing more and more cases with an international element. They can be tricky which is why this case was reported in the Law Reports. It’s important to take expert advice, because it’s easy to get things wrong which could be fatal to your claim.

We see cases where we have to deal with financial issues, perhaps where people are from different countries, or sometimes when they have bought a second home abroad, or taken a job overseas.
Sometimes there are disputes about children, and where they should live and whether it’s possible to relocate them abroad. Sadly we see cases where children have been abducted abroad and we can advise on how to secure their return.

If you need advice about a family law issue with an international aspect, come and speak to one of our expert solicitors.