Sonny Patel, senior associate at Expatriate Law, has had a detailed article on the workings of Part III Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 published in the Family Law Journal. The article explores the remedies available for British expatriates to make financial claims through the English courts following a divorce overseas.
Financial claims after a foreign divorce
In practice, an application for financial relief after overseas is most likely to become an appropriate and viable way to proceed in cases where the foreign divorce was in a jurisdiction where the courts:
- do not have jurisdiction over foreign property;
- have no, or under-developed, mechanisms to force financial disclosure;
- demonstrate favouritism towards nationals over expat spouses;
- demonstrate favouritism towards those of one religion over another; or
- have no or under-developed mechanisms to enforce agreements and orders.
Assets in England
Other cases suitable for an application under Pt III, MFPA 1984 may be where the major assets of the marriage are located in England, or there is a pension that may be shared. A case may also be suitable if the applicant was unable to fund legal representation in the jurisdiction where the foreign divorce was granted.
Although there are jurisdictional and factual hurdles to clear, in appropriate circumstances a Pt III application is a potentially powerful means to address real hardship and serious injustice that may be caused by the operation of foreign law.
Click here to read the full article in the Family Law Journal.