International family law

In the event of a relationship breakdown, complications may arise due to the differences in family law between two or more countries. Those issues may involve cross jurisdictional divorces, financial settlements, and the international movement of children.

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We have experience of both Hague Convention and non-Hague Convention cases but it is vital that early advice is sought on these issues.

We have legal connections around the world

We work closely with firms in over 20 jurisdictions to ensure that their clients achieve the best outcome. We have excellent links with foreign members of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) to ensure that you have access to the best advice. We are also a member of Interleges, which enables us to work with solicitors across the world on matters that may require international expertise.

We understand how different countries’ laws can affect your outcome

It is necessary to have extensive knowledge of international law when advising clients who have lived or married abroad or may have assets such as a property in another country. Careful thought and advice will be given in relation to which jurisdiction would be best to carry out your divorce proceedings or proceedings relating to children. It is essential to issue proceedings in the correct country to ensure that you can achieve the best possible financial settlement and to ensure that you can enforce any order made.

We know what to do if a child is moved from a country without permission

We also advise on many international issues relevant to children and the international relocation of children. If you wish to move or travel abroad with your child or maybe you wish to prevent a child from being taken abroad then we can help. We also advise on international child abduction to include when a child is taken or retained abroad without consent or when a child is brought to this country without consent.

FAQs

Frequently asked questions about international family law

“My wife / husband has moved abroad, can I start divorce proceedings here?”

Yes, provided certain criteria are met, and provided no divorce proceedings have already been started abroad. If you are concerned that your partner may start proceedings abroad and you would prefer for your divorce to be dealt with in England, it is very important that you contact us urgently. Issuing proceedings in the correct jurisdiction is essential in financial proceedings to achieve the best possible financial settlement, and practical matters such as attendance at hearings abroad and the language in which proceedings will be conducted must not be overlooked.

“My partner has taken our children abroad and refuses to return to the UK. Can I get them back?”

A lot will depend on where your children have been taken. We can advise on international child abduction to include when a child is taken or retained abroad without consent or when a child is brought to this country without consent. It is vital that early advice is sought on these issues.

“I would like to move abroad with our children but my ex-partner would not agree to their relocation. Do I need his consent?”

In order to remove your child from England & Wales on a permanent basis you will need the consent of every person who has parental responsibility for your child. We can advise you on how to obtain that consent both out of Court and by issuing proceedings.

“I am in two minds about starting divorce proceedings in England or abroad. Can you advise me about my options?”

We are only authorised to advise on the basis of the law of England & Wales. However, we are highly experienced in advising clients on foreign elements in family matters and we are a member of Interleges which enables us to work with lawyers across the world on matters that may require the expertise of a solicitor in a different legal system.

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