Recognition of Foreign Marriages on Divorce

At Manders Law we understand demographic and cultural changes in society mean that couples often marry abroad or marry and divorce in accordance with different religious or cultural customs. In such cases clients require straightforward and sensible advice before attempting to issue proceedings to end their relationship and need to understand the financial consequences of doing so.

If the marriage is not recognised by the English court, then it may be void or voidable which can further complicate whether the marriage should be annulled rather than dissolved. Further questions then arise as to whether there can be financial proceedings in this country, notwithstanding the fact that the foreign marriage may not be recognised by the English court. Our multilingual and diverse team of specialists are well versed in giving the expert advice you require in this complex area.

When a divorce takes place abroad, again the rules are complicated and differ depending on where the divorce took place and whether it was granted. The validity of the divorce document will depend on whether the divorce was obtained by way of ‘proceedings’ (i.e. involving some sort of judicial or civil process) or pronounced without any legal process e.g. certain kinds of talaq. The validity of the foreign divorce will depend on where the parties live and the law of the country in which the divorce was obtained.

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