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How does divorce affect you in England if it occurred overseas?

April 27 2018

If your divorce was dealt with in a foreign country, there may be circumstances that can affect your freedom to legally remarry in England. In addition to this, it can cause discrepancies with regards to welfare status, wills and probate, and other financial obligations.

Divorce within the EU:

More often than not, divorces that were dealt with in a country that is part of the EU will be acknowledged in England. As long as the settlement is certified in translated documents that are valid throughout the European Union.

Divorce outside of the EU:

This can be tricky, as it can be more difficult to prove the validity of the divorce when dealt with outside of an EU member state. The Family Law Act 1986 includes those that have occurred in a court that uses a similar or equivalent practice to those in England. The likelihood of an equivalent court order occurring within the EU is greater than those outside of the EU. For example, in some countries, a divorce could have been processed outside of the court. This would therefore invalidate it within England.

How do I ensure my foreign divorce is considered valid in England?

For this to happen, the court order that dealt with the original divorce has to be valid under the law of the country that permitted it.

Next, you or your divorcee must have been considered as a citizen or resident of the country that issued and confirmed the divorce order.

It can be difficult to provide legal proof of a foreign divorce whilst living in the UK and the process can be complex to carry out yourself. It is advised that a legal professional is sought to minimise the risk of consequences down the line, and to make sure the divorce is valid. Grahame Stowe-Bateson are a soliciting firm based in Leeds and the surrounding areas who provide legal advice and representation in a variety of legal areas. From divorce and separation to wills and probate, we have offices in Leeds City Centre, Bramley, Harrogate, and Middleton. To get in touch with a legal professional, call 0113 246 8163 visit our contact page to find the details of your local office.


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