International Divorce: What Happens to Foreign Assets?

Expert International Divorce Solicitors

International Divorce is when one or both spouses have assets or connections outside the UK. If you or your ex have a holiday home abroad or assets abroad your ex comes from another country, you need international divorce lawyers experienced in tracing and dividing assets from overseas.

Divorce when spouse lives in another country – if you are an international couple, your financial settlement can become extremely complicated if authorities in your respective countries treat assets, such as your pensions, differently. It is particularly important to seek legal advice from international family lawyers if you or your ex have overseas assets to ensure you get the right outcome from the relationship breakdown. Our International Divorce team are here to help.

Need urgent advice about International Divorce? Speak to our expert team on 01273 604 123 or email

Divorce & Finances
Your Free Guide

Divorce & Finances

Embarking on a journey of divorce or separation can bring emotional challenges and uncertainties into your life. Without careful planning, financial disagreements can intensify the stress and add further complications.

Read our free guide to see what options are available in order to organise and protect your assets through divorce.

How to Divorce someone who lives in another country?

If your spouse has left this country or holds long term residence in another country, the Divorce process can still go ahead here if you are domiciled in England and Wales. The process will be easier if you know your spouse’s whereabouts and have their contact details.

If your spouse’s whereabouts or contact details are unknown, our team have methods of tracing them so documents can be served, and they will have to engage in the process. We will support and advise you throughout this.

Assets overseas - do we need to deal with overseas assets during the Divorce?

While it is possible to legally Divorce without agreeing to a financial settlement, we would not advise it, especially in the case of an international Divorce. If you do not deal with overseas assets and divorce at the same time your ex-spouse could make a claim against you for the foreign assets in future. Your spouse may also try to obtain a financial order in another country before you can file in England and Wales because they think, justified or not, that they will get a better deal from a foreign Court. If you or your spouse have assets overseas, it is essential to speak to our experienced International Divorce lawyer team as soon as possible to get a professional overview of how to protect yourself and your finances.

While we understand that you might not want to take on any more stress at a challenging time, it is highly advisable to deal with your finances at the same time as you legally Divorce. Our top International Divorce team aim to take as much stress away from our clients as possible, providing support and advice every step of the way.

Do you have to declare all assets in a Divorce?

The Courts will require you and your ex-spouse to provide ‘full frank financial disclosure’. This means an honest and complete list of all your financial assets. We can guide you through what counts as divorce assets and divorce overseas assets and help you create a list, and what assets you believe your ex has.

If it is discovered that your ex has hidden assets from Divorce proceedings, you can ask for a new financial settlement with the Court. In England and Wales, the Court reserves the power to cancel any financial orders it has previously made, no matter how long ago your Divorce was. If you have evidence that your ex lied about their assets including their assets overseas during the Divorce proceedings, speak to our 5-star International Family Lawyer team. We will use our legal knowledge and experience to help you fight for a better financial settlement.

Jurisdiction disputes in Divorce

Disputes over jurisdiction can sometimes take place before Divorce proceedings even begin.

Jurisdiction is a highly layered and complex area of law which requires an expert legal professional to deal with cross-border laws. For Divorce proceedings to be carried out in England and Wales, you or your ex must have been domiciled or resident here.

If your Divorce is eligible in another European country, the jurisdiction will depend upon which country the Divorce proceedings start in. If you are eligible to divorce in a non-European country, then the Courts in England & Wales will examine the location of assets and where both parties spent most of their time before determining which country should deal with the Divorce. If you are worried about a potential dispute over Divorce Jurisdiction, our highly skilled litigators can help. Click here to email us now.

Will my holiday home be included in the Divorce settlement?

If you own or have an interest in a property, it is highly likely it will be considered as part of the Divorce settlement, even if the property is abroad. If you or your ex own property or other assets overseas, our Divorce team can look at the circumstances and advise you if it will be included in your Divorce settlement.

How do I protect my assets from Divorce?

We understand how worrying the financial impact of Divorce can be for individuals who naturally want to protect their assets. In most Divorce cases in England in Wales, the Courts will aim to create a settlement that will allow both parties to continue to live a similar lifestyle to that which they enjoyed during their marriage. In addition to the assets you have built up during your marriage, the Courts may also look at assets such as family trusts you benefit from and businesses you own.

To negotiate your financial settlement, Solicitors and the Courts will look at factors such as:

  • How long you were married
  • The lifestyle both parties had during the marriage
  • The income potential of each spouse
  • Whether one spouse went to work while the other cared for children
  • The age of any children

The safest way to protect your assets is to get the best representation possible with a 5-star International Divorce law team like Burt Brill & Cardens. You will need an outstanding legal professional who you trust to examine the argument from the other side. We will use our legal expertise to counter unfair claims on your hard-won or inherited assets, whether divorce assets in the UK or overseas.

Can I get a Divorce in the UK if I married abroad?

Yes, in most cases if you have a valid marriage certificate you can apply for a Divorce in England and Wales even if you got married abroad.

However, to get a Divorce in England and Wales there must first be a valid marriage. Factors that make a marriage recognised as valid in England & Wales include:

  • A ceremony in the valid form in the country the marriage took place, including witnesses and notice.
  • Capacity to marry in the country where each party is domiciled.
  • Valid termination of previous marriage(s).
  • Documentary evidence of marriage such as your marriage certificate.
  • If you were married abroad, speak to us as soon as possible to see if there will be any complications in your Divorce proceedings.

If you were married abroad, speak to us as soon as possible to see if there will be any complications in your Divorce proceedings.

5-star rated International Divorce Solicitors

Burt Brill & Cardens are based in the heart of Brighton but serve individuals all over the world. Our family and Divorce law team provide outstanding bespoke legal services, which we tailor to suit our clients’ needs. Our team have a unique understanding of the many and complex areas of law which often overlap when it comes to Divorce, including finances and banking, trusts and wealth management, inheritance, residential and commercial property. Our team deals with expat divorce, international divorces and divorces involving overseas assets.

Our first-class team use a combination of their legal expertise and experience in and out of the Court room to achieve an outstanding success rate for our clients. To book your initial consultation, call our friendly receptionist on 01273 604 123 or fill out the enquiry form

Burt Brill & Cardens have supported me for the last two years, sorting out what at the time felt to be a complicated and nearly impossible divorce... someone as experienced, understanding, down-to-earth and highly supportive was more than I could have hoped for.

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Speak to one of our solicitors today. We would love to hear from you and discuss any legal issues you may have and how we can assist you.

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