Great Britain – Divorce Capital of the World – A Tale of Two Divorces

by Slater & Gordon Lawyers on July 5, 2013

There have been two interesting cases in the Daily Mail today which give contrasting outcomes for the wives in two contested divorce cases, both of which give an example of Britain’s reputation towards being the “Divorce Capital of the World”: Miss Malaysia and Miss Spain

The first article refers to a former Miss Malaysia, wife to one of Malaysia’s multimillionaire businessmen, who may succeed in receiving the biggest Divorce settlement worth up to £500million seen in these courts.

The wife lives in the former matrimonial home in Hertfordshire, which was purchased in 1998 and she married her husband in 1970. The case was first heard in the High Court, London yesterday. The husband wants the case to be dealt with in Malaysia, knowing that if it is dealt with there, the wife is likely to be entitled to a lot less than she would be in this country. The wife is claiming that she has established herself as a resident in this country and so the English Courts should have jurisdiction to deal with the divorce and division of the Matrimonial Assets. If that is the case, the wife could be looking to do extremely well.

In contrast, the second article refers to an English Court rescinding the wife’s divorce, originally approved here. It is understood that, as the couple had been resident in Spain throughout their married lives, having met in Mallorca and married in Gibraltar in 2009, there is no reason why the English court should have jurisdiction, given the husband’s stated position that he does not consider himself to be a resident here. This means that any claims the wife may have in respect of her husband’s £1million property portfolio based in the UK and Spain will be decided, probably, by the Spanish courts in accordance with their legal principles. The wife fears that she will not receive such a generous award under Spanish law.

Both cases highlight the fact that, depending on whether you are the Husband or Wife, in cases where there is a strong international element, it is vital to seek legal advice as to where the issues proceed so as to ensure the most advantageous Financial Settlement possible.

By Family Law Solicitor Kirsten Grotte

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Slater & Gordon Lawyers
Slater & Gordon Lawyers are a national law firm in the UK delivering exceptional, affordable legal advice across a broad spectrum of areas including personal injury, employment law and family law.
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