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A well respected, award winning social enterprise
Volunteer run - Government and charity funded
We help 50,000 people a year through divorce
1) Where to petition (i.e. in which jurisdiction, England and Wales? and which local county court).
This is a fairly straightforward decision for most, but for people who are from different countries and were married or have recently lived abroad it may not be so clear cut. In very general terms the English courts have jurisdiction to grant a divorce if either spouse:
(a) is domiciled in England or Wales when the proceedings are begun, or
(b) is habitually resident in England or Wales throughout the period of one year ending with the date on which proceedings are begun.
The most obvious category of people who have an English domicile (and who are thus able to obtain a divorce in England) are those who are working for the time being overseas and this can apply to either or both partners. Notice that only one or other spouse needs to be "domiciled" here (or habitually resident ) in order for either to be able to lodge a divorce petition in the English courts. The other spouse can be of any nationality, habitually resident anywhere or domiciled anywhere.
One can live overseas for a very long time without necessarily losing one's English domicile. This is because one can live overseas with the express intention of returning to England at some time in the future. If that is the case one's English domicile is not lost because one happens to be overseas. In fact, intention plays a very important role in deciding where one has one's domicile and it is quite difficult to prove a person's intention one way or the other. In practice, if one is British it is quite easy to petition for divorce here although one happens to be living overseas. And it is not usually necessary to return to the UK in order to be able to do so.