Family Law: 06 March 2020
Going through a divorce is a highly emotional and stressful time for people. While the process for divorce may seem relatively simple and straightforward, the addition of international or cross-cultural issues can complicate the process and it is important that you seek the right advice.
The good news is, it is possible to apply for a Divorce if you were married in an overseas jurisdiction.
As with any divorce application, you are required to satisfy the Court that you and your former spouse have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months and there is no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life together.
If you were married overseas, you will need to satisfy the following further criteria:
You will also need to provide to the Court your foreign marriage certificate to prove your marriage occurred. For the purposes of the Divorce Application, the foreign marriage certificate will simply need to be translated into English and be attached to an Affidavit.
Sometimes, when a spouse is living overseas, it can often be difficult to locate and serve them with the application for divorce.
If you have taken all reasonable steps to locate your spouse and you are still unable to locate them, you can make an application to the Court for:
This can often be a legally complex question and it is essential that you seek legal advice on which jurisdiction would be best to commence divorce proceedings. There can be strategic advantages and disadvantages for filing in a particular country. It may be that you are entitled to a more favourable financial claim in one country.
It will be important to consider, among other things, the following:
If you are thinking about applying for a divorce, it is important that you seek legal advice at the first available opportunity. At Aitken Partners we are well equipped to assist you with international and cross-cultural Family Law issues.
With Phoebe Smillie