A is an Indian national working in London as a doctor. He has indefinite leave to remain. A entered into an arranged marriage with M who resides in India. M was meant to join A in England but A and M argued all the time. The marriage ended before it began and A decided not to take M to England. A tried to communicate with M but she stopped answering his calls and emails.
We issued divorce proceedings on behalf of A and served them with the help of the High Court (who instructed the Indian Courts to serve the papers). Had this failed we would have obtained an Order for substituted service so that we would have been allowed to serve M by email as we could have proved that she used her email address to communicate with A before the marriage broke down. Consider also the immigration issues that may arise in such a case.
Mrs F and her husband are English nationals, however, they lived abroad for most of their married life. They last lived together in Dubai where Mrs F’s husband was employed. The parties’ marriage deteriorated and Mrs F returned to England advising that she wished to remain here. She feared that her husband could start divorce proceedings abroad although all the parties’ assets were in the husband’s sole name in Europe.
We issued divorce proceedings in England on behalf of Mrs F whilst negotiating with the husband and his solicitors at the same time. The parties reconciled, however, Mrs F did not withdrawn her petition. She secured the jurisdiction of England and Wales and can later on proceed with her petition should she so wish. Consider where the majority of the assets are and in whose name before you issue proceedings in a country.
J is a German national residing in England. The father of her two children G is a Serbian national with indefinite leave to remain in England. J wishes to return to Germany following the breakdown of the parties’ relationship, however, G does not allow her to take the children.
J will need to start court proceedings to ask the Judge for permission to take her two children out of England and Wales. She is not allowed to leave England and Wales with her children unless she has either the permission of the Court or of G (as he also has parental responsibility for their two children).
Example (Financial claims):
S works as a doctor and J as a teacher. They separated after 15 years of marriage. Their children are 10 and 13. Both S and J wanted the children to stay in the former matrimonial home with J, however, there was not enough equity in the house to re-house Simon. What could be done?
S agreed to rent a property until the youngest child is 18, ie for another 8 years. The parties agreed that upon the youngest child turning 18 the former matrimonial home should be sold so that S can get his share of the equity and J hers. J agreed to get less maintenance from S for only a couple of years to reflect the fact that S would not be able to purchase a property for himself for the next 8 years.
Example (Maintenance claims):
S is a Bulgarian national. She lived in London for a while and fell pregnant whilst having an affair with a married man. She returned to Bulgaria with her child but sought child maintenance from the father. He ignored her requests.
We issued proceedings under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 in London to secure the jurisdiction of England and Wales. We then wrote the father of the child a letter advising him of the proceedings, seeking financial disclosure and requesting he pay a monthly sum for the child. The parties negotiated and reached an agreement after some time. S now receives child maintenance for her son every month.
Example (Pre-nuptial agreements):
G is a German national. F a Dutch national. They have a one year old daughter together. G looks after the baby whilst F works as a banker. They intend to reside in London for two to three years before moving to Asia or America depending where F’s job takes them. F would like to have a pre-nuptial agreement before they marry to ensure what he earned prior to the marriage remains his. G does not mind that but wants to ensure that she participates in the wealth that G generates from the date they get married.
We drafted a pre-nuptial agreement for G that allowed F to keep his pre-marital assets. The agreement stated that whatever both parties earned from the date of the marriage should be shared equally between them. The agreement also ensured that G and the baby would be provided for in the event that the marriage would not last long very long.