If you have a connection to another country or a different part of the UK, you or your partner might choose to start divorce proceedings there. The country in which your divorce, dissolution or other court proceedings takes place is known as the jurisdiction. Different jurisdictions will approach your case differently, particularly with regard to how the financial matters are dealt with.

This could lead to very different outcomes for you, which may be more beneficial or conversely more prejudicial to you than other jurisdictions. Where there is more than one jurisdiction in which your divorce could take place, this can often lead to a race between the parties to be the first to issue. This is also known as “forum shopping” and the “race for jurisdiction”.

  • Circumstances to consider include
    • If you spent the entirety or majority of your married life in another country
    • If either you or your spouse is living in another country whilst the other party is living in England or Wales, whether for work or even as part of a trial separation
    • If you, your spouse, or both were born outside of England and Wales or either party’s father is a national of a different country
    • If your marriage took place in another country
    • If you divorced overseas and you are concerned about whether this change in circumstance will be legally recognised upon your return to the UK or if you think the financial settlement that was awarded in that country was unfair. Alternatively, you may have received no financial settlement award at all in the country in which your divorce took place
    • If you or your spouse have property or any other assets overseas, either separately or jointly owned


    Should any of the above apply to you and you consider your relationship to be in difficulty, we suggest you seek advice immediately so that you can understand your legal rights. One of our dedicated team will advise you on the most effective and efficient process for you, taking your individual circumstances into account.

    For more information see our Jurisdiction Q&A’s.

    We have offices throughout the UK – contact us and we will help you to find the right specialist, closest to where you are based.

Asset Valuation

Stowe Family Law’s in-house forensic accountancy team can produce business valuations without the delay and additional expense of instructing other firms of chartered accountants. They can also advise on the ability of a business to raise money to fund a financial settlement and can consider other issues such as tax.

Stowe Family Law’s in-house team works closely with the firm’s International Family Lawyers. Our forensic accountants are on hand to locate and examine offshore assets, many of which may be owned by complex business structures or trusts.

Expat Divorce Cases

We have significant experience in supporting expat divorce cases, for example this guide looks at:


Our Commitment To You

We will support and guide you throughout your case so that you can be confident of achieving the outcome you want for your family. We want to make you feel like you’re our only client.


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