Ensuring your finances are protected in an international divorce

  • International divorce laws vary on how different countries deal with financial settlements, so it’s important to find the best jurisdiction for you.
  • You will need specialist solicitors who are familiar with international divorce cases and understand how the laws differ from country to country.
  • Our family law team is highly experienced in dealing with cases involving international finances and we can bring in our experts in related areas such as tax and real estate, for the most comprehensive and effective support.

In any divorce, it is important to secure a legally binding settlement noting how the marital finances will be settled. In an international divorce, this becomes more complex because the laws vary from one jurisdiction to another.

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What will happen to your finances in a divorce?

There are certain processes that you and your ex-spouse will have to go through in order to legally divorce and divide your assets and debts. You will each need to provide information about your financial situation known as “financial disclosure”. Then through solicitors, mediators, via the collaborative process or if need be via a court, we will help you negotiate on what is the right settlement for you including what will happen to your family home, any other property you own, your capital, business and pensions.

Such negotiations may also include the requirement to pay your spouse a monthly sum out of your income known as maintenance for them and/or the children of the family.

Where you get divorced may affect your settlement

The country where you get divorced can affect the financial settlement between you and your ex-spouse. It’s important that you speak to a lawyer who specialises in this legal area so that you can be sure the laws of which country apply to your case and how they can affect your divorce settlement.

For example, some settlements obtained in the courts of England and Wales can be more favourable to one spouse than those secured in other countries. In some other countries, for example, settlements do not consider assets they had before the marriage, which can result in an unbalanced and unfair settlement. Other countries may also have different approaches to paying maintenance. Although you may decide you want your divorce to be heard in the courts of England or Wales, you need advise about whether any order secured here could be enforced or upheld in another country.

How are assets held overseas treated in a divorce in the courts of England and Wales?

In the courts of England and Wales all overseas assets need to be disclosed as part of the process and can be available for division between you and your ex-spouse. However, other countries may not address assets held abroad in any settlement, leaving you vulnerable to receiving an unfair share of the assets.
Therefore, it is important to consult with our team who are experienced in assisting with international divorces and finances, so that they can inform you of what can and can’t be considered an asset based on your unique situation.

Why do I need a solicitor who specialises in international divorce and finances?

You will need specialist legal advice on the critical financial aspects. It is important to have the support of not only of experts in international divorce, but also solicitors who are specialists in related areas such as tax, trusts and real estate. We offer such expertise and will work as a co-ordinated team to make sure you secure the most advantageous result.

Contact Moore Barlow

With offices in LondonRichmondSouthamptonGuildfordLymington and Woking, we offer specialist support to our clients both nationally and internationally.

If you require legal advice or help regarding an international divorce, or any other queries related to international family law, contact the Moore Barlow team today.