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Navigating Tricky Waters: International Family Law & Divorce

family law solicitor

Once upon a time it was not uncommon for a person to spend their whole life living within just a few miles of their birthplace. These days, however, life has a much more international feel, with people crossing borders, getting to know one another and, in some cases, starting families together. Just like any other marriage, however, some of these will undoubtedly end in divorce. That is where we come in. If you need more information about international family law & divorce, read on.

How the System Works

A divorce where there is an international element can be tricky. There are lots of things to consider in the process, particularly as each individual country or state has its own individual divorce laws. There are subtle differences for every country. There are also international family law agreements between groups of countries, for example between EU States and these can be particularly relevant when it comes to questions of where a divorce can and should be started. In some cases, where a divorce can potentially be started in two or more countries, there can be a pressure of time once parties separate: filing first might give you distinct benefits over the other spouse when it comes to financial matters.

So what does this mean for you? If there are potentially competing countries, at an early stage you will need to consider which country’s laws should be applied in your international family law case. This means having to consider

  • The potential financial outcome in each jurisdiction.
  • The ease or otherwise of the court process.
  • The options available to you in terms of enforcement if there were to be non-compliance with an order.
  • The convenience in terms of communication, language, attendance at hearings etc.

In any or all of these cases, it is important that you tread lightly. You will need help from someone who has experience with the system.

Other Issues to Consider

There are also other issues to consider. One of the most common is that of children. In the cases of international divorces, disputes relating to children can be very difficult: in some cases, children may be expected to relocate; in other cases, children may be abducted because one spouse takes the law into their own hands. As you can imagine, in any circumstances where the welfare of a child is in question, you need specialist legal advice.

How We Can Help You

So how can we help? In a variety of ways. Firstly, we can advise you in relation to a divorce in England and to help you to decide whether England is the right country in which to divorce or not. Secondly, we can offer you advice on how to handle any international divorce proceedings, liaising with a family law specialist in another country where necessary. Our James Maguire is a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) which is a worldwide association of practicing lawyers who are recognised by their peers as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries.

Call Us Today!

No matter what you are currently up against when it comes to international family law and divorce, we can help.  If needed, we can book you for an appointment to come in and talk with one of our friendly professionals in our firm. Or, we can also help to get you in touch with a specialist in another jurisdiction who may also be able to help. We also help clients with divorces here at home, spousal and child maintenance, understanding financial settlements, and much more. For legal advice from a firm that you can trust, contact us today.

For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: or telephone:

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