Where to divorce as an expat
If your marriage has broken down and there is no chance for reconciliation, where to divorce should be one of your first considerations. More than one country or ‘jurisdiction’ may be available for an expat to divorce. It is important to conduct thorough research in to the availability and potential outcome in each jurisdiction, in order to ensure the best possible outcome from the divorce, financially and otherwise.
The financial outcome of the divorce will hugely impact on you and your children in the long term. It is therefore vital to seek advice from a specialist international family lawyer in each potential jurisdiction. Research carefully before choosing a lawyer, to ensure they have sufficient experience in international family law; expat divorce can be complex and the law can change on a daily basis.
When considering where to divorce as an expat, potential jurisdictions would be:
- Where you currently live
- Where your spouse currently lives
- Where you were born
- Where your spouse was born
- Where you or your spouse are ‘domiciled’
If you or your spouse are from the UK, or have links to England, then contact one of our specialist family lawyers who will advise you carefully as to whether you are entitled to divorce in England, then when required will guide you through the divorce process, assisting you to resolve financial and children matters as required.
If you or your spouse are not from England or Wales and have no links to the UK, a good starting point is to compile a list of lawyers in each potential country which you or your spouse are associated to (by way of birth, nationality or domicile). Lists of international family lawyers within different countries can be found from the International Academy of Family Lawyers, Resolution or from the British Embassies, Law Societies or legal governing body for that region. Seek advice from your list of lawyers and then compare and contrast the advice to allow you to decide which is the best place for you to divorce.
We have compiled a summary of the family laws that apply in the main expat hubs including Singapore, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Click on the drop down menu from ‘Divorce> divorce where you live’, to review information and advice on the family laws of the country in which you now reside as an expat.
If you are a British expat, or have links to the UK, find out if you are able to divorce through the English courts. You can find a helpful summary of the divorce process, and the grounds for divorce in England here.
We have prepared and compiled an extensive collection of articles giving advice on all aspects of divorce, including financial and children matters. We suggest that you begin by reading:
We are a specialist team of British lawyers, advising expats worldwide on divorce and family law matters.
- Senior Associate and Mediator (England & Wales)Hero was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 2000. Hero has previously worked as a family lawyer at Dawsons and KSB law based in Lincoln’s Inn, London. Her experience includes high net worth financial settlements on divorce, child arrangement matters, child abduction and ... continue reading.(+44) 20 3096 7169
- Partner / Senior ConsultantDavid is a highly experienced litigation lawyer, having qualified as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales in 1986. He has run his own successful and busy London litigation practice for 21 years. David was formerly a member of the Law Society Family Law panel and spent many years in the accountancy profession before entering the law. Continue reading....(+44) 20 3096 7169
- Associate SolicitorLauren was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 2008 and has worked as a family lawyer in London, Johannesburg and Dubai. She has significant experience dealing with expatriate family law matters particularly those involving English and South African law issues and is now based in London... Continue reading.(+44) 20 3096 7169
- Partner and Solicitor (England & Wales)
Sonny PatelSonny qualified to practice as a solicitor in England & Wales in 2006. Before joining Expatriate Law in 2014, Sonny trained and practised exclusively in Legal 500 rated central London law firms where he consistently achieved outstanding results for his clientele of professionals and entrepreneurs. Continue reading...(+44) 20 3096 7169
- Associate SolicitorAfter obtaining a Bachelors and Masters degree at university, Sophie went on to obtain a distinction in family law at the College of Law in London. Sophie trained at and worked for Goodman Ray Solicitors, a niche specialist family law firm in London, for five years before joining Expatriate Law in Dubai. Continue reading....(+44) 20 3096 7169
- Consultant SolicitorDavid Truex is an expert in family law in England and Wales as well as internationally. He is one of the foremost experts in legal jurisdictional disputes. David has practised family law for over 40 years and has been at the forefront of family law reform, acting as an advisor to governments in both Australia and the United Kingdom. Continue reading...(+44) 020 3096 7169
- Managing Partner - Solicitor (England & Wales)Alexandra Tribe co-founded Expatriate Law with her father, David Hallam-Peel, in 2010 and is based in the firm’s London office. Alexandra has been accredited by Resolution (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association) as a specialist in International Family Law and Advanced Financial Provision and sits on Resolution’s international family law committee. She is also a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. Continue reading...(+44) 20 3096 7169
- Partner - BarristerByron is a Partner and Head of the Expatriate Law team in Dubai. Having been based in the Middle East for several years he has an expert understanding of the local law and culture, in particular the way in which it affects expatriates. His caseload is diverse, he represents expatriates all over the world with clients in almost every continent. Continue reading...(+44) 20 3096 7169