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Q about expat divorces

(13 Posts)
Fiderer Tue 12-Jul-11 12:57:51

I've lived in an EU country for 20 years, married in the UK. Am trying to find out if it would be quicker/cheaper for us to get divorced in the UK. Read lots about "domicile of origin" versus "domicile of choice". Main sticking block seems to be that I'm an Irish national, moved to England aged 6 and my mum still lives there, so for me it was always "home".
Legally not though?
Any help appreciated, have first appointment with lawyer here on Thursday.

babybarrister Tue 12-Jul-11 13:16:42

have a look at Article 3 of the Brussels II Revised Convention on Jurisdiction on matrimonial matters to see the various options open to you [assuming that you are not in Denmark] - where you were married is not relevant -

eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32003R2201:EN:HTML

as to where quicker to get divorced, all depends on the grounds and the options in terms of countries

remember, for most people the real issue is where the money will be dealt with as there are vast differences in outcomes between EU countries. make sure you have good advice as it is easy to go wrong ...

Fiderer Tue 12-Jul-11 13:25:45

Thank you! Have been googling around so much my eyeballs are spinning. Wanted to clear as much as poss in my head before Thursday. Am in Germany.

Making sure I have good advice - that's the hard bit! How do you know? I've asked around and although several acquaintances have recommended the lawyer I'm seeing, none have been there for divorce stuff. The partner deals with family law so I asked to see her.

With all the Harry Potter stuff atm, any chance of you coming up with a charm I can use on her to determine if she is, indeed, Any Good?

babybarrister Tue 12-Jul-11 13:29:40

is she a member of Resolution - the specialist family lawyers association? is she on the Law Society family panel? good luck and make sure you take all your info re passports, tax affairs etc re domicile ...

Fiderer Tue 12-Jul-11 13:45:52

No idea - thought that was just an English thing. Appreciate your help smile
Back to google and my growing list of questions.
Am mostly concerned that he's volatile and angry and determined to sell the house and if I don't agree, he will default on the payments. But as he's threatening to leave the country and pay no maintenance, I don't see what I gain by leaving here and going into rented accommodation.
Ahh. Such a mess. The children's lives (and their dad) are here but there are days I wish I could just fly us all home.

babybarrister Tue 12-Jul-11 14:58:07

Resolution is for England and Wales - I asume there is something similar in other parts of UK - where is solicitor based?

Fiderer Tue 12-Jul-11 17:37:50

Am in Germany. Married in UK and therefore wondered if divorcing in UK would be easier/cheaper. Plenty of food for thought and am v grateful for your taking the time to answer.

Collaborate Tue 12-Jul-11 19:56:38

You really need to take full advice from lawyers in both countries. Finances will be dealt with differently in each, and there may be a distinct advantage to you in choosing one over another.

bringinghomethebacon Tue 12-Jul-11 22:17:16

I doubt the German lawyer will be able to advise on whether or not you could issue in England, or on the possible outcome on an English divorce - she will only be able to tell you about the German procedure unless she is dual qualified. Consult a lawyer in England too - you don't have to see someone in person I am sure you will find someone happy to advise over the phone or by email. Go to a London solicitor with international experience.

Generally if you are the party who has earnt less or brought less financially to the marraige and in particular stayed at home and looked after the children, then you will have more generous financial provision on a divorce in England - there is reason London is called the divorce capital of the world. However, if your ex knows that and you have dodgy jurisdictional grounds to issue here then you do not want to get into an expensive fight over which is the more appropriate jurisdiction before you have even begun dealing with the meat of the divorce as you can waste an awful lot of money that way.

See Part 3 of the Notes to Divorce Petitions below for the jurisdictional basis on which you can issue a divorce petition in England. Note that both you and your husband would have to be domiciled here if neither of you currently lives here. www.justice.gov.uk/family-procedure-court-forms/D8%20(Notes)%20Supporting%20notes%20for%20divorce%20etc(3.2.11).pdf

You could argue you consider the UK to be your permanent home but can you argue it for your husband? Unless he is about to move here, in which case you might be able to issue under "the respondent is habitually resident in England and Wales" - how quickly (if at all) he gains habitual residence here would depend on the purpose for which he is coming here.

Fiderer Tue 12-Jul-11 23:25:14

"Finances will be dealt with differently in each, and there may be a distinct advantage to you in choosing one over another."

"Generally if you are the party who has earnt less or brought less financially to the marraige and in particular stayed at home and looked after the children, then you will have more generous financial provision on a divorce in England - there is reason London is called the divorce capital of the world."

That's what made me ask - and no, I don't expect a German lawyer to be familiar with the ins and outs of expat divorce, esp as I am in the (admittedly v pretty) wilds here.

Yy to email or phone consultation.

Thanks again for replies.

babybarrister Wed 13-Jul-11 08:13:29

I know one dual qualified German/English family lawyer who is excellent - Andrea Woelke - he is a specialist in international law too and based in London

www.alternativefamilylaw.co.uk/en/about/andrea-woelke.htm

bringinghomethebacon Wed 13-Jul-11 09:49:48

YY to Andrea Woelke.

Fiderer Wed 13-Jul-11 11:38:10

Just what I needed - thank you so much.
Website very informative and have emailed him. Also you can read it in German so v useful for all the legal terms I now need to understand and talk about.
Am tempted to kick self for not having sorted things out earlier but my head's been all over the place and now I reckon time is better spent writing list of questions for lawyer tomorrow.

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