Reluctantly moving abroad (EU) in 1997 to follow husband''s job, I gave up my career (trainee solicitor) again, having also left jobs in finance and journalism to follow him in the UK.
Our children were then 1 and 3 and I raised them and did voluntary work for 10 years until I built up a cv that enabled me to work (I''m a teaching assistant).
I consider myself domiciled in England despite having dual French/British nationality and understand that I can divorce/separate under English law.
I earn €1,000 month, he €7,000 + bonus (often substantial)
I have no state or other pension entitlement
We''ve been married 24 years this year and are in our late 40s
I''d like a friendly settlement, confirmed by a Consent Order, but without being silly and impoverishing myself.
1)dividing current value of home, savings, shares equally
2)he makes me a periodic payment of €2,000+inflation per month until he retires, then
3)a (half?) share of his pension accrued to date (he''s changing jobs, so should be easy to see the cut off point)
4)he should keep his bonuses
5)we both put the same proportion of our resulting income into an account to fund the children (to avoid one parent becoming sidelined)
Please give me some advice, I have no idea if this is reasonable/possible.
As far as I know your nationality can be different to your domicility.
Also can be different to your actual country of residence for tax purposes.
I have been advised that it is extremely unusual that people change their domicility.
So you need to work out your and your partner''s domicility. Maybe the country of your wedding also has a factor.
Juristiction will be established in country of the divorce application and you will not be able to change it once proceedings are underway.
From a personal experience, with hindsight, I wish I had gone through a French divorce (UK dom, FR resident, either were options for me but I thought it would be easier in English for the benefit of my ex:( )
Solicitors in England charge an arm and a leg, SO much cheaper in France and the authorities are much more thorough with their investigations.
You may already know that Notaires have a monopoly to sell houses and split the marital assets and Judges are only involved with dissolving the marriage and disagreements.
Take all the free advice you can get, this site is invaluable. Compare with French sites information.
I''m sure one of the experts will be along to advise you soon about the whole domicility stuff.
The law relating to domicile is complicated but if you originally came from the UK and haven''t indicated you have no intention not to return you can divorce here. However, if there are property and pensions in France you need to bear in mind that there can be complications in enforcing court orders and extra expense incurred if you need lawyers
in both jurisdictions.
A family solicitor with experience of divorce in the UK and France is in the best position to advice you where you stand and what options there are given the particular circumstances.
For the record, I am going through a similar procedure at the moment. No children involved - wife left me in November 2010 having lived with me in France since February 2007, and returned to the UK. In March 2011 she issued a divorce petition in the UK, which I challenged on domiciliary status, and the UK jurisdiction, as she had ostensibly left the UK with me permanently, and we had no property or business interests there. The point being under the Bruxelles 2 agreement, she had to have been resident back in the UK for a minimum of six months before she could issue any divorce petition in the UK. I fought this with barristers, and she capitulated.
I have since started my own proceedings in France on the grounds of her abandonment.
Divorce here is most certainly NOT cheaper than that in the UK - avocat fees are horrendous, and you have to have one - there''s no such thing as a DIY divorce in France.
My initial court appearance here is in early June.