Obtaining a UK divorce if you’re an EU national

Lund Bennett Family Law - Cheshire and Manchester

Obtaining a UK divorce if you’re an EU national

The good news is that Brexit has not affected the ability of certain EU nationals (and indeed certain other non-UK nationals) to obtain a divorce and financial settlement in England and Wales.

For example, if you are, say, a French national, but you live and work in England (such that this is where your centre of interests lies), you can still obtain a divorce here. The jurisdictional grounds for obtaining a divorce in England and Wales are unchanged, making it easier for some people to bring proceedings here.

Recognising UK divorces in the EU, and vice-versa

If you applied for divorce in England and Wales/ in an EU country before 11pm on 31 December 2020, your divorce will, on being finalised, automatically be recognised in the remaining EU countries/ in England and Wales (as applicable).

But what of divorces commenced after the transition period? For UK divorces commenced on or after 1 January 2021, whether the divorce is automatically recognised in an EU country will depend on whether the relevant EU country is a signatory to the 1970 Hague Divorce Recognition Convention. Where the relevant country is not a signatory, recognition will depend entirely upon the national laws of that country. We recommend you take specialist legal advice.

The UK courts will recognise EU countries’ divorces commenced on or after 1 January 2021 in the same way as they currently do for divorces from non-EU countries.

For more information and seeking legal aid contact Lund Bennett today