On Sunday 14th February, the Sunday Telegraph reported upon a divorce case which will have potential ramifications for expats or their spouses. The case reported was that of Sara Pell and her husband Duncan Pell the former director of steel giant Corus.
Mrs Pell was unable to pursue her divorce in the UK despite being married in Wales, living here for 9 years and both her and her husband are British. Mrs Pell and her children have returned to the UK to live but that was not enough to convince the UK courts who decided that the French courts, where her husband had issued counter proceedings and where the assets were based, would have jurisdiction.
The article describes how the wife would be unlikely to pursue a claim for a share of her husband’s £1.2million pension based in the UK under French legislation. Whenever a marriage breaks down and the parties have international connections it is extremely important to seek immediate legal advice. It may be very important to issue proceedings first or it may be better to issue in another jurisdiction as Mr Pell did.
I can advise you upon the UK legal system and how it would deal with your particular case.