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International & Expatriate Divorce

At Edwards Family Law, we have dealt with many cases over the years assisting a whole range of clients in international divorce and family law issues. We have acted for many clients from all over the globe, from celebrities, business owners, those in the financial sector, millionaires, billionaires and their spouses, all of whom have complicated assets and interests cross-jurisdiction.


What is international divorce?

International divorce is one where the couple issuing divorce proceedings have a connection to multiple countries, thus expanding where they may be able to choose where they may be able to issue divorce proceedings. For instance, the couple filing for divorce might have relocated from England and Wales and are now living in other countries, or they or their spouse may have very recently arrived in England. A divorce may be considered international for many reasons including, but not limited to,  the nationality of either of the spouses, the links they have to other countries and where their assets may be located.  

Divorce and family laws vary from one country to the other, so if you fall within the category of people where an  international divorce may be applicable, it is essential that you obtain the appropriate advice on how to protect your interests as soon as possible.. Overseas divorce, or divorces that have an international element can be very complex, which is why it’s important to consult a lawyer that has expertise in this field i.e. an international divorce lawyer. Our lawyers, who are accustomed to dealing with clients and cases that live an international life, are experts in their field and can provide you with the advice you need in order to protect your interests.  

Can you divorce overseas?

If you or your spouse have a connection to another country, it might be possible for either of you to start divorce proceedings in that country.  You would want to obtain advice in that other country and England and Wales, in order to ascertain where your position may be better protected. Where your divorce takes place can often have very different outcomes in terms of how your finances might be divided, how the court may deal with assets that were acquired before a marriage or what ongoing support may be required once the divorce has concluded. .  

England and Wales is generally being considered one of the more generous jurisdictions to get divorced in, in circumstances where it has long since been established that there is no difference, in law, between the breadmaker and the homemaker. So, when it comes to England and Wales , getting divorced here could be far more advantageous, or more prejudicial to you, than another country. It is therefore essential that you make the right decision about where to get divorced, and this often needs to be done quickly. This decision can often lead to a race to get proceedings issued first, often referred to as a “jurisdiction race”. It is common for spouses with tenuous links to England and Wales, often the financially weaker party, to try to issue divorce proceedings here to take advantage of the more generous rules regarding marital finances that are applied here. This is known as “forum shopping”

Is foreign divorce valid in the UK?

An overseas divorce can be recognised in England and Wales subject to certain rules. It is important, if you have been divorced abroad, to obtain advice as to whether (i) your divorce will be recognised here and (ii) whether you then have the ability to issue proceedings for financial support following a foreign divorce. This is a highly specialised and complex area of law, and our international divorce lawyers will be able to guide you through this difficult area.

How is jurisdiction in international divorce determined?

Before you start an international divorce, the one key rule is this: take advice in all the countries where you may be able to get divorced. The rules can differ substantially from country to country and you would not want to prejudice your claims by issuing proceedings in the wrong country.

If there’s some international element to your divorce, then there’s a high chance you’ll be able to divorce in multiple jurisdictions. Our industry leading international divorce lawyers will be able to guide you through how issues such as nationality, domicile, or habitual residence may impact upon your ability to issue divorce proceedings in England and Wales.

How much does an international divorce cost?

The total cost of an international divorce can vary significantly and we will always be upfront about the possible costs that may be incurred. Ultimately, It will all come down to how complicated your case is and how much will be required to resolve your case and whether Court proceedings are required, or whether you and your spouse can resolve the issues in an out of Court setting.  Our divorce lawyers can explain all the available choices based on your circumstances.

Can foreign nationals divorce in England and Wales?

Even if you are a national of another country, you might still be able to apply for a divorce in England and Wales if you meet certain requirements.  It’s vital that you get advice from a divorce lawyer as soon as possible before taking action. 

Edwards Family Law has acted for many people from all over the world in this situation, successfully obtaining English divorce and financial provision for people from countries including Russia, France, Spain, Ukraine, the UAE and Egypt to name a few.

If you already have a legally recognised divorce from another country, and a financial settlement, then, subject to certain ( very strict) rules being met, you may be able to apply to the Courts of England and Wales for additional support. 

Our expert family law solicitors can give you clear and concise advice about what to expect from the courts and how to effectively deal with any application from start to finish. 

Why choose Edwards Family Law for international divorce?

At Edwards Family Law, we have dealt with many cases over the years, assisting a whole range of clients in international divorce and family law Issues. We have acted for clients that need advice about whether they are able to divorce in England and Wales, if they have been served with divorce proceedings in England and Wales and those clients that have needed advice following an overseas divorce. We are experts in these fields and here to guide you through what is a difficult and complicated area of law. Please contact us for specific advice in relation to your personal circumstances.

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Free Consultation

We offer a free 45-minute consultation to all qualifying individuals, who have complex cases and want to be represented by our leading family and divorce lawyers. After 45 minutes, please note that our time is charged at our hourly rates.

During a free consultation with our experienced divorce solicitors and family solicitors, you can expect a comprehensive discussion about divorce in the UK (England and Wales). We’ll walk you through the process of how to get a divorce, covering important topics such as the divorce application, laws on divorce and your financial rights and obligations following a divorce.

Our lawyers will provide insight into divorce law, including no-fault divorce, and help you understand the divorce process, including divorce filing and court proceedings. We’ll also discuss the cost of divorce, giving you a clear picture of what to expect financially. Our team of solicitors also can provide comprehensive legal guidance in issues such as child arrangements (also known as “child custody”), spousal support, and property division.

We’re here to assist you in every aspect of getting a divorce or family issue, making the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Whether you’re seeking advice on family arrangements or need guidance on a divorce consent order our experts in family law are here to help.

We endeavour to respond to all new enquiries within a few hours but sometimes with other commitments such as court hearings, that might not be possible. At most, we will get back to you within 24 hours. If you require urgent or immediate assistance, please contact the team by email contact@edwardsfamilylaw.co.uk, flagging the urgency and we will do whatever we can to assist, if proportionate and possible on the facts of your individual case.

Meet our Lawyers

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Kelly Edwards

Managing Partner

With over 15 years experience in dealing with Complex Family Law matters, Kelly will be able to guide you through any aspect of your case with speed and ease.

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Sarah Hogarth

Senior Associate

Sarah advises clients on all aspects of family law, with a particular focus on resolving complex financial issues for high-net-worth individuals.

Chloë Ashman

Associate Solicitor

Chloë’s legal practice encompasses all aspects of financial remedy, Schedule 1, private children and prenuptial and post nuptial agreements.

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Charlotte Lanning

Associate Solicitor

Charlotte has a vast array of experience in all of the issues that can arise from relationship breakdown with a particular focus on complex financial matters, often with an international dimension

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Isobel Rarok

Associate Solicitor

Isobel is experienced in all aspects of divorce and dealing with High Net Worth and complex financial matters together with advising on pre and post nuptial agreements

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Kate Pooler

Associate Solicitor

Kate advises on all aspects of family law, including divorce, financial remedy, Schedule 1 Children Act cases, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, concerns around behaviour associated with relationship breakdown and all matters relating to co-parenting


Kelly Edwards has brilliant strategic oversight. She’s someone you want in your corner. Charlotte Lanning is incredibly clever and clients love her.

Legal 500

The team at Edwards is ruthlessly efficient. They are very transparent with clients and it really pays off; clients know where they stand and are not given unrealistic expectations. I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending them to personal friends.

Legal 500

They are very professional. They provided clear explanation of processes, options and best possible course of action. Good communication. Highly recommended.


I would highly recommend Edwards Family Law. Kelly & Charlotte's service, expertise and knowledge was first class. Really appreciate their advice with my case.


Edwards Family Law provides an excellent service, personally I was in contact with Kelly Edwards, who is very friendly, understandable and punctual with her work. I would highly recommend this service for everyone who deals with family laws.


I have recently used the services of Edwards Family Law and Kelly gave pragmatic advice and made what could have been a very stressful process, streamlined and straightforward. The process was handled diligently and this made for it being both less daunting and inexpensive.


Kelly is great - compassionate but strong and fair in her advice. Can't imagine what a mess I would have been in without her. Excellent experience with Kelly! 


Kelly Edwards is highly knowledgeable and experienced. I highly value her counsel and completely second the previous comment that describe her as 'pragmatic'. Kelly is very efficient, for a fee that is reasonable and fair.