If You Like Pina Coladas.
Family Law Solicitors – Gosforth, Newcastle and Sunderland
In the United Kingdom, your overseas marriage will be recognised as legally valid so long as it complied with the relevant laws and formalities of the country where you were married.
There was an interesting example of this is the recently publicised case regarding a Ghanaian wedding. The law of Ghana allows for marriage by ‘proxy’, which means that neither the bride nor the groom technically needs to be present at the wedding. Law on proxy marriages overturned.
So, regardless of whether your dream wedding involves a white sandy beach and a handful of Pina Coladas, or a ceremony you don’t even have to attend, you can rest assured your nuptials will be regarded as valid when you return home – so long as it adhered to the laws of the land.
On a slightly less cheery note, you may think that where you were married will determine where you must divorce, but this isn’t necessarily the case. In order for the English Family Courts to have jurisdiction in your Divorce, generally speaking, either you or your spouse must either be ‘habitually resident’ or ‘domiciled’ in the United Kingdom.
‘Domicile’ is a somewhat hazy concept, which relates to where people think of as their permanent home – harking back to the idea is that home is where the heart is. ‘Habitual residence’ on the other hand is a slightly more objective concept, and is easier to be determined by facts; such as where the Former Matrimonial Home is.
The issue of where you divorce can be very important when it comes to the financial settlement, as – if your divorce were issued in a jurisdiction other than England and Wales – you may have difficulty in applying for a financial order, because there are additional steps to be taken into account – such as applying to the Court for permission.
When dealing with an application for permission (or ‘leave’) there are a number of factors which the Courts must take into account in establishing whether there are grounds for the Financial proceedings to be dealt with in England & Wales – the permission application won’t simply be ‘rubber stamped’.
If your relationship has broken down, and either you or your spouse spends time living overseas, don’t be too hasty in issuing divorce proceedings. You will need to give the question of where your divorce proceedings should be issued some careful thought, as it can prevent – or make more difficult – resort to English Law on Financial Settlements.
Contact us for to arrange a ‘Next Steps’ Divorce Advice Session.
Book your ‘Next Steps’ Divorce Advice Session at our Newcastle office: 0191 284 6989
Book your ‘Next Steps’ Divorce Advice Session at our Sunderland office: 0191 567 6667
Nine Reasons Why You Should Instruct a Solicitor To Handle Your Divorce – (and the pitfalls of a Do-It-Yourself Divorce) Free eGuide.
We are frequently asked about the value of instructing an expert solicitor to handle a divorce. We have put together this useful guide which will answer many of your questions. If you are contemplating a divorce or separation, and wondering whether you need a solicitor to assist you, then our guide will help you to decide.