Big payouts in the UK are encouraging wealthy individuals to file for divorce in other locati...
Big payouts in the UK are encouraging wealthy individuals to file for divorce in other locations, a leading divorce lawyer has claimed.
Marilyn Stowe, principal at Grahame Stowe Bateson (Private Client) Family Law Unit, said the number of cases she has encountered where the husband had moved his family abroad, only to file for divorce, has been on the increase.
She believes the trend is the result of recent divorce settlements in England which are causing it to be seen as 'the divorce capital of the world', including the case of Beverley Charman who was awarded a £48m settlement. Current EU law states the divorce will take place in the country in which the proceedings are initiated.
Stowe said: "One important difference between English and European law is the 'disclosure burden', which is the legal obligation to disclose financial assets. In other countries, this obligation is much reduced.
"If divorce proceedings are initiated in England, a wife is entitled to a share of marital assets, and could also be entitled to maintenance payments for life. EU law, known as Brussels II, means that if divorce proceedings are initiated in another European country, the right to maintenance can be vastly diluted or even lost altogether."
Sarah Higgins, partner - head of family group at law firm Charles Russell, said if there was a possibility of divorce proceedings abroad in an EU country, it was essential to get in first to ensure proceedings took place in the best country for the client.
She said: "The difficulty is it doesn't give much time for reflection, you cannot write to the other side, saying this is what we are thinking of doing, do you agree with the contents of the petition. You just have to file to secure the right country."
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