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 (https://www.iafl.com/), Resolution (www.resolution.org.uk) 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, click here (https://expatriatelaw.com/where-to-divorce/divorce-in-the-uk/) to 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 (https://expatriatelaw.com/where-to-divorce/how-do-i-apply-for-a-divorce/)
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: