It is increasingly common to find families with close connections to more than one country. At SpainWilliams we have consultants with extensive international family law experience to provide support and legal advice for International families.
It is increasingly common to find families with close connections to more than one country.
Unfortunately, these international families are likely to face additional complexities when their relationships break down and it is important that they receive specialist international family law advice which we can offer at SpainWilliams.
From the very outset international families are likely to face additional complications at what will already be a very difficult time and they may need to take action quickly. For example, if they have sufficient connections overseas then there may be a choice as to where the divorce or separation proceedings should take place. Where there is this potential choice great care must be taken to ensure that the most advantageous country is chosen. This will require a careful evaluation process often involving specialist family lawyers in the relevant countries. A major consideration will be to decide where they are likely to receive the best long term financial outcome but this will be just one of many different factors to consider. The process of identifying the preferred country is often known as ‘forum shopping’.
Where proceedings have been issued it may be that the other party will object to the divorce proceeding in that country, arguing instead that it is more appropriate to take place elsewhere. In these circumstances the divorce proceedings may be paused (‘stayed’) while the court determine where the divorce should take place. This is known as a ‘forum dispute’.
In respect of financial matters international families’ affairs may be more complex with issues as to the valuation of overseas assets or international taxation concerns. There may also be considerations of enforcement of financial orders made in England, overseas or vice versa.
Where the divorce has taken place outside of England and Wales there may be challenges regarding the recognition of the divorce and in some circumstances it may still be possible to bring an application to the English courts for a financial order following an overseas divorce.
In respect of children, it may be that one parent wishes to return to their home country or relocate overseas with their children. If the parents are unable to agree where the children shall live it may be necessary to make an application to the court for permission to relocate the children. This is known as a ‘leave to remove’ or ‘child relocation application’.
International families will face additional complexities and at SpainWilliams we have consultants with extensive international family law experience to provide support and legal advice at this challenging time.
SpainWilliams is member of IR Global, an international network of lawyers, accountants and financial advisors, which strengthens our existing links with lawyers and advisors in other countries for the benefit of our clients.
IR Global is the fastest growing professional service network in the world providing legal, accountancy and financial advice to individuals and companies across 155 jurisdictions. Membership of IR strengthens our existing links with lawyers and advisors in other jurisdictions for the benefit of our clients.
SpainWilliams is represented within IR by Hannah Budd who is a Consultant Solicitor at the firm.
In addition to membership of the group Hannah will also be representing the interests of private client members of IR in the Private Client Working Group and will also be attending a forthcoming IR Conference in Lisbon.
Hannah is a specialist family law solicitor with extensive experience of international family law matters. Read more about Hannah here.
Want to see more? View other blog posts