Forum shopping: what it means and how to get it right

In an age of increasing globalisation many families now have an international element to their make-up. Spouses may be of different nationalities, one or both may have relocated abroad or lived in a sequence of different countries, and/or they may own assets in more than one country.

If one or both parties to such a marriage considers that the relationship has irretrievably broken down, then thoughts will eventually turn to the practical implications of a divorce.

An expatriate couple may not necessarily need to divorce in the country in which they reside. There are often a choice of countries which would accept an application for their divorce.

These alternative countries are called ‘forums’ or ‘jurisdictions’. Divorce in one jurisdiction may result in a vastly different financial outcome to a divorce in another.

Sonny Patel, Senior Associate at Expatriate Law, has written an clear and thorough guide about choosing the best place for your divorce; This article will help explain the various legal terms, and set out the options for divorcing as an expatriate.