Need a shark not just a lawyer!

(13 Posts)
LongingForLamu Wed 06-Mar-13 09:39:09

Friends live in the Middle East, he earns £12,000 a month tax free. He's leaving her with their three small children.

SHe needs some very good legal advice as where they are it is very average indeed. £180 a hour and couldn't even be advised which country she could petition in.

Anyone know of one, please feel free to PM me as i don't know the rules of the site regarding this. As it's remote, it doesn't matter where in the UK.

Collaborate Wed 06-Mar-13 13:03:02

All a solicitor here can do is advise whether or not the courts here could entertain a divorce petition, and if so, what range of financial orders the court is likely to make.

Enforcement over here is likely to be problematic too (if the assets are abroad - particularly in the Middle East where there are few/no reciprocal enforcement provisions).

Be wary about finding a "shark" for her. What she needs is someone who will be realistic and avoid fanning any flames of conflict. Apply to court if necessary, but she should really want to negotiate a resonable settlement for them both. The cost of going to court can be horrendous.

LongingForLamu Wed 06-Mar-13 13:57:54

Thank you for your reply. I can imagine the costs could be extortionate. There are no real assets as he seems to have spent it all (she can't find what on!), she had a apartment in NZ from before she met him. Brits in the Middle East appear to divorce back here. He is attempting to buy a property there in his name only. Saying that it's only fair as she had one.

She wants to stay in Dubai to be closer to him for co-parenting etc. Her cv is being dusted off as we speak so hopefully she won't be reliant on him for long. If she stays there, she will at least be closer to the source of financial support in the meantime. She understands that he's holding all the cards.

How long does a divorce take to come through? She doesn't want her visa cancelled before she can set herself up which could take around 6 months.

How do I locate a lawyer who will know about whether, as a Brit citizen she can file for divorce in the UK.

Is it true that you need the marriage certificate to file?

Collaborate Wed 06-Mar-13 16:14:02

Not enough information to draw a conclusion. What nationality are they both? It sounds as if neither can divorce in the UK. One of them would have to be domiciled here (s5(3) of the Domicile and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1973).

Domicile is a fact specific issue, but as she has a property in NZ and he wants to buy a property there I'd say that neither has domicile in the UK and so they can't get divorced here. Just a preliminary opinion based on what's been posted so far.

LongingForLamu Wed 06-Mar-13 16:45:11

Sorry.

He's Australian and wants to buy in the UAE, she left NZ 18 years ago though she bought a property in Auckland 12 years ago. She became a naturalized British citizen 8 years ago and their three children presently hold British passports only. All her visas and travel in and out of the UAE is on her British passport.

MOSagain Wed 06-Mar-13 19:06:47

As collaborate says, its all down to where they are domiciled and its not sounding like either of them can issue proceedings in the UK.
Having previously lived in the ME for many years I'd say your friend will have problems issuing proceedings in Dubai.

LongingForLamu Thu 07-Mar-13 08:56:23

Can you be domiciled in two countries?

This is not good news as NZ divorce law is pretty crap at child support and I can't seem to find anything on spousal support.

She supported him through his MBA in London, then had his three kids and before the youngest was one has decided that he wants a younger girlfriend. She sacrificed for him and is now screwed.

MOSagain Thu 07-Mar-13 09:16:39

sadly, you can't just pick and choose which country you issue divorce proceedings to get a better deal. Get your friend to google 'domicile' and 'habitually resident' so she can get a better idea of her options.

Collaborate Thu 07-Mar-13 09:32:08

The thing is, neither of them appears to be domiciled in the UK, so all we can say here (MOS and me are UK qualified lawyers) is that the UK does not appear to be an option for either of them. They would have to speak to lawyers in the 2 jurisdictions thast might apply - the ME country and NZ.

MOSagain Thu 07-Mar-13 10:58:28

From my experience of living in the ME you'd be banging your head against a brick wall trying to get a divorce there, its all sharia law.

LongingForLamu Thu 07-Mar-13 11:49:11

Not looking good. Thanks for your replies anyway.

Mondrian Thu 07-Mar-13 12:07:11

As far as I know Domicile means spending more than 4 months in uk - thats for income tax purposes anyway so assume its the same. In most ME countries the law lands on the male side so no 50/50 split & DC's custody is given to the husband. On the other hand I have had to deal with the judiciary system in Dubai due to a non paying customer, even though it was an open & shut case from a legal point I ended up giving it up after 4 yrs due to spiralling costs which made the claim redundant.

It looks like a complicated case with little or no reward at the end of it all - he has done his homework! Would probably be best to use close friends to mediate and appeal to his (obviously lacking) kindness to reach a settlement.

Collaborate Thu 07-Mar-13 12:14:31

Domicile for divorce jurisdiction is different to domicile for the purpose of divorce, I'm afraid.

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