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International assets

Dividing your finances during divorce if often a complicated and highly contentious matter, even during ‘straightforward’ separations. However, where a divorce features international or cross border assets, there are likely to be a number of additional challenges that need to be handled with a great deal of care and attention.

At Sharp Family Law, our specialist divorce and finance solicitors have a wealth of expertise with regards to managing international assets during divorce, working to address your financial priorities, as well as your specific needs and interests.

Circumstances depending, we will always seek to achieve a financial settlement that you and your former partner agree on, using resolution methods such as constructive negotiationfamily mediation and collaborative law. However, where a settlement concerning international assets cannot be achieved, we have the necessary experience and court litigation skills required to present your case in the best possible way during family court proceedings.

No matter what international assets need to be considered, or how complex the division of said assets may initially appear to be, our international divorce solicitors will ensure every relevant issues is comprehensively dealt with, allowing you to move ahead to the next chapter of your life in confidence.

Sharp Family Law work in person and electronically, by email or by filesharing on various platforms. We offer conferences in person, at our offices and by Skype for business, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and FaceTime or other video systems, or by telephone.

To arrange an initial meeting with one of our international divorce solicitors, whether that is in person or electronically, please give us a call or use our simple online enquiry form to request a call back.

Our international assets and divorce services

Assembling international assets

Prior to negotiating a financial settlement upon divorce, it is essential to collate and assemble of the relevant international assets that will need to be divided. This is especially important if there are assets in multiple countries, as the laws and regulations regarding divorce often differ around the world – which may have a bearing on the final outcome of the divorce settlement.

Our international divorce solicitors will work alongside you to make a comprehensive list of all the international assets which need to be considered, which may include:

  • Properties
  • Pension funds, savings and investments
  • Off-shore bank accounts
  • International businesses

Arranging which country to start divorce proceedings

As briefly mentioned above, divorce law is different in every country, which means that the country you decide to start the process of divorce, and the division of assets is vitally important.

Our international divorce solicitors can work alongside you to assess your individual circumstances and advise on the best course of action and the most appropriate jurisdiction to start the process in.

International arrangements for finances

The outcome of the financial settlement you make following a divorce will ultimately be determined by the country in which you divorce. Naturally, this means that it is vital that you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to maximise your chances of reaching an outcome that is in your best interests.

In some countries, the automatic position is to resort to a 50/50 split of your income and assets. This is in contrast to the UK, where financial arrangements and the division of assets are based on what is considered fair for both parties.

Our international divorce solicitors can work alongside you to make suitable arrangements for assets which are tied to international divorces, such as second homes and foreign bank accounts.

Why choose Sharp Family Law for advice about international assets?

Sharp Family Law is one of the largest family law firms in Bath and Bristol. We have specialist expertise and experience in supporting couples to make arrangements for their international assets during divorce and have established a strong reputation for our constructive and personal approach.

We always focus on what you are looking to achieve, providing carefully tailored advice that ensures you reach a positive outcome. We are not a ‘one-size fits all’ firm – rather, we want to make we tailor our advice to fit the process around you, rather than fitting you into the process.

We also understand that dealing with complex finances and assets can be a daunting prospect, especially if you have never had to do so before. For that reason, we offer one to one guidance on these matters and can refer you to specialists, such as financial or pension advisors where necessary.

Independent recognition for our family law expertise includes:

Our team’s training and professional memberships include:

  • Several members of Resolution – the professional network for family lawyers committed to taking a non-confrontational approach to family law
  • Richard Sharp is a trained collaborative lawyer and family mediator in both the UK and the USA

To find out more about our family lawyers’ individual expertise, please take a look at our team.

Our approaches to international asset arrangements

Collaborative law

Collaborative law helps couples who would prefer to find a creative and personalised solution to the division of their international assets. It replaces the emotionally charged setting of court which can often serve as a way of creating a further divide between you and your former partner.

Collaborative law involves you and your former partner working with one another to find a voluntary agreement – along with your respective legal representatives.

Constructive Negotiation

During Constructive Negotiation, you and your former partner will meet together for round-the-table discussions about your divorce and the arrangements you need to make for your international assets.

The process works by prompting both you and your former partner to have a detailed discussion about your situation and the way you would like to divide your international assets. This allows you to get a better understanding of what you both want to achieve, preventing unnecessary misunderstandings.

Family mediation

Family mediation works by involving a neutral family mediator. They are present during negotiations to help guide the discussion and keep everyone on track.

The mediator is present to mediate and nothing more. They are not able to give any specific legal guidance or take sides.

Court litigation

While we will always take every possible step to avoid court proceedings, sometimes they are necessary to achieve a positive result.

Where this is the case, we can work alongside during the entire litigation process, offering robust representation to ensure that your international assets remain protected at all times.

How long does an international divorce take?

The time it takes to get a divorce will vary depending on a number of factors, including the complexity of the assets, whether any additional arrangements need to be made (such as childcare) and the countries that assets exist in.

In the UK, divorces have been simplified through the introduction of ‘no-fault’ divorce, which should lead to a more streamlined process, but this isn’t something that necessarily applies in other countries. As a very rough estimate, an international divorce could take around 6 months to finalise, but it could take significantly longer than this if there are complex issues to sort.

Can I get an international divorce in the UK?

Yes, it is possible to get an international divorce in the UK. However, it is important to note that, to do so, you must have a sufficient connection with the UK.

This will likely mean that you need to be habitually resident in the UK, you have lived in the UK for at least 12 months before starting proceedings or you or and your spouse are officially domiciled.

Speak to our international divorce solicitors in Bristol and Bath

To arrange an initial meeting with one of our international divorce solicitors to discuss international assets, whether that is in person or electronically, please give us a call or use our simple enquiry form to request a call back.