International Divorce

It should come as no surprise to learn that, as society becomes increasingly diverse and multicultural, the number of ‘international’ families continues to grow. But, when a relationship crosses national borders, so can a divorce or separation – which could present various specific challenges which need to be handled with care and attention.

At Sharp Family Law, our specialist international divorce solicitors have specific expertise in supporting couples through a divorce or separation that involves multiple international jurisdictions.

As with our approach to any divorce or separation, our solicitors always take a collaborative approach to international divorces, which helps to reduce the potential for any unnecessary conflict or animosity between both parties. Even where there are geographical, or practical, difficulties related to the divorce, we help to open up effective communication so every issue can be handled as sensibly as possible.

No matter how complex the circumstances of your international divorce may initially appear to be, our international divorce specialists focus on various approaches to reduce conflict and improve communication, including mediation, collaborative law and constructive negotiation.

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 enquiry form to request a call back.

Our international divorce services

Arranging which country to start divorce proceedings in

As you may already know, divorce law is different in every country, which means that the country you decide to start the process in is vital.

It is worth noting that the UK divorce system tends to be relatively cheap and straightforward compared to some other countries, and plans remain in place to introduce ‘no-fault’ divorce, which will streamline the process even further.

Generally speaking, you should be able to get a divorce in another country if:

  • The country legally recognises your marriage (for example, you cannot get a same-sex divorce in a country where same-sex marriage is not legal)
  • You and/or your partner have a connection to the country

Our international divorce solicitors can work alongside you to help assess your individual circumstances, advising on what the best course of action would be and which jurisdiction you should start the process.

International arrangements for children

With any divorce, making arrangements for your children is likely to be your first priority. However, the added international element can make it difficult to solve certain decisions related to your children. For example, it may be the be the case that one partner wants to take their children to live with them overseas, while the other wants to remain in the UK.

Our international divorce solicitors can provide tailored legal advice if you would like to bring your children to live you with abroad, as well as advising on your legal position if your spouse plans to do the same.

We can also provide advice on other matters related to your children, such as agreements over child maintenance payments, and contact arrangements.

It is usually possible to make these arrangements for children out of court, and, if necessary, this can be made legally binding with a Child Arrangements Order.

International arrangement for finances

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

In some countries, the automatic position is to resort to a 50/50 split of your income, as opposed to the UK, where financial arrangements are based on what is fair for both parties. Therefore, this will likely have an effect on the country you decide to launch proceedings in.

Our international divorce solicitors can help you to negotiate a fair financial settlement that provides you with the opportunity to move on with your life in financial security, taking into account all of your financial resources.

We can also work alongside you to make suitable arrangements for other factors which are often tied to international divorces, such as second homes and foreign bank accounts.

Why choose Sharp Family Law for advice about international divorce?

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 find positive solutions to international divorces and have developed a positive reputation for our constructive and personal approach.

Our approach is to focus on what you are looking to achieve, offering tailored advice to ensure you reach a positive outcome. We are not a ‘one-size fits all’ firm – we want to make sure we tailor our advice to fit the dissolution process around you, rather than fitting you into the process.

We also understand that going through an international divorce may be the first time you have had to deal with complex financial or familial arrangements. For that reason, we offer one to one guidance on these matters, referring 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 divorces

Collaborative law

Collaborative law replaces the emotionally charged setting of court, which often serves as a way of driving a further divide between you and your former partner when you are setting out the plans for your divorce.

Collaborative law involves you and your former partner working with each other, rather than against each other, to find a voluntary agreement. This is done with the assistance of your respective legal representatives.

The process provides both of you with the opportunity to discuss the practical details relating to your international divorce in a non-confrontational environment.

Constructive Negotiation

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

The process works by prompting you to have a detailed discussion about your situation and the circumstances relating to your international divorce. This then allows you to better understand what your former partner also wants to get out of the divorce, resulting in far fewer misunderstandings.

Family mediation

Family mediation involves the assistance of a neutral family mediator, who is present during negotiations to help guide the discussion and keep everybody on track.

The mediator will be present to mediate, nothing more. They cannot give any specific legal advice, nor can they side with one party.

Court litigation

While court proceedings are always likely to be the last course of action, there are certain situations where taking a case to court is the only available option.

If this is the case, we can work alongside you during the entire court litigation process, offering robust representation to ensure you receive a positive outcome.

Speak to our international divorce solicitors in Bristol and Bath

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 enquiry form to request a call back.