We are often asked whether a couple can choose to divorce in England or in Spain, and where they will have the greater economic advantage. Although the UK is now outside the scope of EU legislation in both countries it can still be a question of “first come, first served” which means it is important to get the right advice before proceedings are commenced.
A lot has been written in the news about wealthy individuals forum shopping – that is looking for the best country to take the action. Where there is considerable wealth this is often thought to be England though where one spouse has private pensions this can be disadvantageous. We have Family law specialists who can commence or defend divorce proceedings in England and you would not have to travel to England until any hearing takes place.
It may be that jurisdictional rules prevent you from commencing the divorce in England or a petition has already been lodged in England by your spouse. A battle over jurisdiction can become very costly and a better route may be to reach a settlement which can deal with Spanish property. However, it is very important to have the English consent order correctly drafted to ensure any Spanish property transfers are not taxed.
If there is a divorce in Spain the door can remain open in England under specific provisions which allow someone to make a financial application in England after a foreign divorce. You have to prove either residence or domicile in England and that the financial matters have not been properly dealt with. There have to be assets in England such as property, monies or pensions.
De Cotta Law can also directly instruct a Barrister in England who would be familiar with the decisions being made in the courts of England & Wales, equally in Scotland or Northern Ireland. This can be more cost effective than instructing a firm of solicitors in the UK where fees are generally higher and can rapidly rise if the matter is contentious.
As a firm we are registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority so we can act in the English courts. If you would like an initial telephone conversation please call Lauren Sykes on +34 951 315 161 or email on [email protected]
For our Tenerife office call on +34 922 719 520 or email on [email protected]