The simple answer to this is that if you have a sufficient connection to this country then probably “yes”. It is important to note that Scotland has different laws to those of England and Wales and this blog only relates to the latter two.
In the majority of cases it is possible to get a divorce without either party ever having to set foot inside a Court room and it therefore follows that provided one of you has a sufficient connection with England then you could obtain a divorce here without ever having to return.
So what constitutes a sufficient connection with England? Well, for the Courts of this country to have jurisdiction to deal with your divorce one or more of the following must apply to your circumstances:
- Both you and your spouse are habitually resident in England or Wales.
- Your spouse is habitually resident in England or Wales.
- You were both last habitually resident in England or Wales and one of you continues to reside here.
- You are habitually resident in England or Wales and you have been so residing for at least one year immediately before the divorce petition is issued.
- You are domiciled in England or Wales and you have been residing here for at least six months immediately before the divorce petition is issued.
- You are both domiciled in England and Wales.
You are classed as being habitually resident somewhere if you live there regularly. This means that you must be physically present there on a voluntary basis, for a settled purpose and with a settled intention to remain there for a significant period of time.
Domicile is more difficult to define – it is basically the country where a person has their closest ties. There are different types of domicile including domicile of origin and domicile of choice. A person can live overseas for many years without losing their English domicile if that person has the express intention of returning to England at some point in the future. It should be noted that domicile for tax purposes is not the same as domicile for divorce purposes.
Contact our Divorce Solicitors in Birmingham
If you are living abroad and you are thinking about getting a divorce in this country you really should take legal advice before commencing any proceedings as the last thing that you will want to do is incur a large Court fee to start your case and then find that the Court will not deal with the matter. If you would like more information send us an email so that we can advise you on the best course of action available to you.