I am British but married to a Romanian and living in Indonesia most of married life. I have a house in UK, which i owned before we were married. We also have properties in Romania, Indonesia and Spain. My husband committed adultery and wants a divorce. If we can get divorced in UK, I understand the courts have no jurisdiction over assets abroad. They also cannot impose orders on my husband as he is not UK citizen nor resident. Could I Petition for a divorce in Romania? Would their courts have more power over my husband, even though he does not live there? Would I have to take out legal cases in each country to resolve disputes over property? He is offering a split on property but it is not 50 50, even though I brought a lot into the marriage. How can I get a valuation on properties in Romania, as I believe he is undervaluing our assets there, as they will be the main part of his share?
I expect you have a choice in where to divorce those being where you got married and where you are living.
I have a limited experience about jurisdiction but where there is not a collaborative (comty) agreement between countries there is no jurisdiction for a court to make a decision in a foreign county unless I believe you get a Marava Injunction (worldwide freezing injunction - expensive) for prevention of disposal of assets - you have to be sure then that the party involved is going to dispose of assets - ie they are held in the persons sole name.
Otherwize I do think that you have to make separate applications into the various jurisdictions involved for adjudication and do it as soon as you are sure that is your intention (or your husbands intention to sell and defraud).
You really need specialised advice from a solicitor with international experience and perhaps contacts to obtain valuations in order to compare the different countries. Often it isn''t possible to enforce orders transferring or selling properties abroad but the value of property in one country can be offset against the value of property in the country where financial orders are made.
However there are international agreements between some countries so in some circumstances the enforcement of maintenance order procedures can be used to enforce orders for payments of capital. Romania is one of the REMO (Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders) countries but Indonesia isn''t.
Thank you for your help. Does anyone know a good expat lawyer in Romania? We were married in UK and I am British, but I wonder if I would be better filing in Romania where the courts may have jurisdiction over him and the assets there?
It''s not that simple. In Romania I believe if one party to divorce is found to be at fault it can affect the finances (e.g. claims to spouse maintenance) so you really need to compare all the ins and outs. Also some countries are better at enforcement than others.
There are certainly international legal firms in the UK that have experience of divorce in other EU countries and you would really need to find one that has dealt with Indonesia too in order to make an informed choice of jurisdiction.
The other thing is the usual international conventions are the country where the divorcing couple have the most ties or where divorce proceedings are first initiated has jurisdiction. If you leave it too long your husband might apply for divorce and then you wouldn''t have a choice of jurisdiction.
Thank you Fiona. My Romania husband admitted adultery in an email, so presumably it would be to my advantage to divorce there?
I want to be the first to initiate proceedings but am struggling to decide where it is most beneficial. I thought Romania because they may have more influence over him. I really don''t fancy Indonesia and UK only seems to have jurisdiction over me and my property, which I bought before our marriage.
Is there a way of finding an international firm that has Romanian and Indonesian experience?