Couples who are based internationally may have a choice of jurisdiction in respect of how to resolve their dispute.
A sufficient link would need to exist within the country of choice. Different countries, obviously, have different legislation and methods of dealing with divorce, nullity, judicial separation, dissolution and children law. Therefore, the same facts may well often result in an entirely different outcome depending upon where the case is brought. 'Forum shopping' is therefore more common place than before.
Carla Hull Solicitors Limited can assist you in deciding where would be best for your case[s] to be heard, and guide you through the various options available to you.
The English Court will have jurisdiction in relation to divorce, dissolution and ancillary relief in the following circumstances (under Brussells II convention):
Both parties are habitually resident in England and Wales; or
Both parties were last jointly habitually resident in England and one still resides here; or
The Respondent is habitually resident in England; or
The Petitioner is habitually resident here and has resided here for the past 12 months; or
The Petitioner is domiciled and habitually resident here and has resided here for at least the last 6 months; or
Both parties are domiciled here.
The country in which proceedings are first brought has exclusive jurisdiction, and no challenge is possible. Therefore it is important to take swift advice to ensure that you have the option to file your petition in your country of choice first.
The general rule relating to children is that jurisdiction is based on a child’s habitual residence. This jurisdiction does not normally change even if the child later moves to another country. There are exceptions to this general priority of habitual residence where the child has lived previously in another member state, in cases of child abduction, in cases where there may be a closer connection with another member state, where it is impossible to determine the habitual residence of a child and where the Court which has jurisdiction of the matter transfers the case to a country better placed to deal with it.
Carla Hull currently chairs Birmingham Law Society’s International Committee and has significant expertise and experience in handling cases with an international element.