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International Divorce

The ‘petition race’

In recent times, it has become more and more common for families to move to different countries around the world.

Inevitably, this has resulted in what has become known as a ‘jurisdiction race’ or ‘petition race’, with divorcing spouses ‘racing’ to get their divorce petition filed in a country that could see a more beneficial result for them financially.

If divorce is filed for in different countries within the EU (not including Denmark) and both countries have jurisdiction, it is normally the case that the country where the first petition is issued, will be where the divorce goes ahead.

Divorce laws in different countries vary significantly. For example, English and Welsh courts are known to be more generous towards the financially weaker party, which still tends to be the wife. In other EU countries, such as France, this may not be the case. If both countries had jurisdiction, you can see why the financially stronger party may be keen to push through the divorce in France, rather than the UK, for example.

Additionally, some people believe the English courts to be cheaper than some of their foreign counterparts.

If you think you could be eligible to divorce in more than one country, it is important to seek legal advice from experienced family lawyers, such as Austin Kemp, as soon as possible. Acting quickly could make a real difference to the outcome of your financial settlement.

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