International Divorce Lawyers
International Divorce Law Specialists
London has a reputation as the ‘international divorce capital’ and if you live in the UK but were not born here, or you are a UK national currently living abroad then you may have a choice over which country to bring your divorce proceedings in. Read on for more information.
Mark Freedman Partner
Expert divorce advice for international families
London has a reputation as the ‘international divorce capital’ and if you live in the UK but were not born here, or you are a UK national currently living abroad then you may have a choice over which country to bring your divorce proceedings in.
Many of the wealthy families who instruct Osbornes Law have international business interests, investments, and property portfolios. With so much at stake, it is important to seek expert legal advice from a solicitor with experience in international family law as soon as possible.
Each country has different rules when it comes to the formalisation of divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, and in regard to the division of financial assets, and provision for ongoing spousal and child maintenance. It is important not to hesitate as the choice of jurisdiction is strategically important, and often the spouse who initiates legal proceedings will be able to determine the country where all issues are decided.
Our matrimonial team includes a member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) and we have expert divorce lawyers in London who are fluent in several foreign languages. We have the latest high-speed video conferencing and most recently, we have handled family law cases across Europe, the Middle East, and the USA.
Experienced international divorce lawyers
Our specialist international divorce lawyers have experience in representing clients from across the world. We have recently acted in cases that span the following jurisdictions: from France, Italy, Israel, Russia, USA and the UAE.
We have extensive experience in dealing with complex international assets, including trusts, company structures and property together with our wide network of international experts that can organise valuations of all foreign assets will ensure your divorce is dealt with in a fair and comprehensive manner.
Children and international family arrangements
If you own homes in more than one country, then one of the most important aspects of an international divorce will be deciding on arrangements for children after separation including where they will live, where they will go to school and how they will see a parent who lives in a different country.
One parent may wish to return to their home country for support, or their career may take them abroad. Whatever the reason, it is of vital importance that you obtain early legal advice to ensure your children’s relationships and rights are protected.
You must have the consent of everyone who holds parental responsibility before you can take your children to live abroad. We will always strive to reach an agreement without going to court and to maintain good relations between you and your former partner. If this cannot be achieved, then we will support you through the court process.
How Osbornes Law can help
The first thing to do is to contact us. One of our expert lawyers will take a history of your circumstances and discuss your desired outcome. Then they will explain your options, likely timescales, and costs.
If you have a prenuptial or a post-nuptial agreement, then we will need to see a copy of this document.
If you are overseas or outside London, we have high-speed video conferencing facilities and a full online service to ensure you are kept up-to-date and fully appraised of your case and legal options.
Related Divorce Services
Lisa Pepper is particularly recognised for her role as a mediator in complex cross-border disputes. Her practice also includes handling prenuptial agreements and issues arising from divorces. She is additionally skilled in Schedule 1 and other child arrangement matters.
Mark Freedman frequently takes on high-value financial and children proceedings that involve complex tax, trust and accounting issues.
"Andrew Watson is respected and tenacious in matrimonial finance. You would want him on your team."
"David Leadercrammer is such an experienced wonderful lawyer who you would want on the other side of your case. He’s sensible, pragmatic and hugely experienced in money and children cases."
Andrew secured me the best financial settlement for my claim. He is a credit to Osbornes Solicitors.
"Lisa Pepper was recommended to me as non-nonsense and able to help me with a difficult and confrontational divorce. She more than lived up to that – she was practical, collected and always available with a clear opinion and suggestions of how to move forwards. She also was open and helpful about costs and how to mitigate them"
"Mark Freedman is a very capable lawyer, renowned for not being a pushover and pushing his clients’ cases as much as he can, but will always talk sensibly about settlement. He is among the best – tenacious, good judgment and tactically aware."
"Mark Freedman is a dynamic and highly experienced family lawyer who fights extremely hard for his clients and is always in their corner, thus ensuring their loyalty and confidence. In a trial you would always want him on your side."
"She has impressed me as someone who fights my corner but also understands the importance of resolving issues without unnecessary escalation. She is calm and reassuring."
"Her mediation practice is exceptional; she is also a great solicitor and has a breadth of skill which is really useful."
"He is really experienced and wise. He has a lovely manner about him and clients feel safe with him."
"Jo Wescott is top notch and widely recognised as a rising star throughout the profession. She brings a winning combination of great judgement, an immense work ethic, and a relaxed and charming way with opponents and clients alike. Someone you want on your side”
"Osbornes is pre-eminent for family law in North London. Mark Freedman is a real rainmaker. He is an excellent lawyer and has a top-notch practice"
Mark Freedman is intelligent and personable and has a good selection of high-net work cases.
"Exceptional value for money. Highly competent and reasonably priced. Mark Freedman: one of the best in the field."
"Client-focused. Ready to fight the clients’ corner, but also ready where possible to steer client from unnecessary dispute. Mark Freedman – very experienced, with good instinct for the eventual result. Clients love him and he thinks ahead and directs the client to the best result for the client."
Mark Freedman is a serious player. A fearless family law litigator, who protects his clients’ interests passionately.
Breadth of knowledge and willingness to go the extra mile is what makes it stand out. Mark Freedman – devoted to his clients
Mark Freedman frequently takes on high-value financial and children proceedings that involve complex tax, trust and accounting issues. Sources praise the "tenacity and common sense" he brings to challenging disputes.
"Mark is very experienced, competent, good with clients and takes a sensible approach to cases. He knows exactly what he's doing."
"An exceptional outfit. They take on difficult cases, fight hard and win."
"The team frequently deals with cross-border estates for high–net-worth individuals."
"Mark Freedman is a real heavyweight litigator who has dealt with some very significant cases."
"Mark Freedman boxes clever, keeps his powder dry and when it comes to the end game he negotiates a really good deal."
"Mark Freedman has a specific focus on high-net-worth divorces and finance cases where there are overseas assets and trusts."
"Lisa Pepper somehow manages to get parties to settle on matters where there isn’t much hope to start out with."
"Well-regarded family practice assisting clients with substantial matrimonial disputes and sensitive children proceedings."
"Mark Freedman draws acclaim for his work in high net worth divorce cases, including those involving company structures, family trusts and overseas assets."
"He never gives up. He fights for you to the end and has boundless energy."
Mark Freedman advises high-net-worth clients and knows his stuff.
Highly regarded for his experience as a litigation and mediation expertise, Mark Freedman is tenacious and determined. Clients really feel that he is fighting their corner.
Andrew handled a very complex, 3 year legal battle for me, with a tremendous amount of patience and professionalism. He is very approachable, always kept me up to date, by phone and e-mail, and responded very quickly to my queries with excellent advice, sound strategic thinking and strong letters to put the other side under pressure. With top contacts for barristers, joint experts and mediation.
[The Family Law department] handles significant matrimonial finance cases and complex nuptial agreements. Respected for its expertise in cross-border children law matters.
Mark Freedman represents high net worth clients in complex financial disputes. Sources say that "he's a determined negotiator who'll always do the very best for his clients.
"Mark Freedman receives a lot of instructions from clients based abroad, often relating to complex divorce proceedings. Sources say: “His main strengths are his enthusiastic passion for the job in hand and his total dedication to his clients.”
International Divorce FAQs
Can I start my divorce in England?
You can start your divorce in England if one of the following conditions apply:
- you and your spouse are both living in England or Wales;
- you and your spouse were last both living in England or Wales and one of you still resides here;
- you and your spouse are both domiciled in England or Wales;
- your spouse is resident in England or Wales;
- you are resident in England or Wales and have resided here for at least a year before starting your divorce; or
- you are domiciled* and currently resident in England or Wales and have resided here for at least six months before starting your divorce.
*Domicile is not the same as nationality, citizenship, or residence. It generally means the country you regard as your home or where you have your closest ties, and you can only be domiciled in one country at a time. Where you or your spouse are domiciled can be contentious (as there are often tax implications) and we will be able to advise you on your options and rights.
Can I divorce if my spouse lives overseas?
You can divorce in England even if your spouse is living elsewhere provided you have met one of the conditions set out in the question above. If you are entitled to issue proceedings in England then an address in the foreign country where your spouse resides is required. If your spouse ignores the divorce proceedings then we may need to make a separate court application to convince the court that your spouse is aware of the proceedings.
Are overseas assets counted in divorce?
If you or your spouse hold assets overseas, then they will need to be taken into account in the negotiation of any financial settlement after divorce of separation. All assets, wherever they are held need to be identified as part of the financial disclosure. You may already have a clear idea of what both you and your spouse own, but if not, or you fear your spouse is hiding assets, we can help. Our skilled international divorce team have expertise in tracing overseas assets and will work to ensure all assets are taken into account.
Once overseas assets are located, it is necessary to obtain accurate valuations of them. This is especially important when considering complex financial assets such as foreign businesses and offshore trust accounts. We have an established network of professional associates and have arranged valuations for a diverse range of high value assets.
Once we have the full picture, we can advise you on your entitlements and work to achieve a settlement with your spouse’s legal team. If you are concerned your spouse may shift assets abroad, we can look into obtaining a court injunction to freeze assets.
Spouses sometimes think that they can put certain assets out of reach overseas, or that they can ignore the terms of a financial settlement if they are far from the UK. However, there are established protocols for dealing with these situations and we can advise you on the enforceability of any agreement in a foreign country. If needed, we can liaise with overseas lawyers over any enforcement action.
What if my spouse attempts to deliberately hide international assets?
If you are concerned about hidden assets during a divorce, our lawyer have a network of leading international assets tracers. We will work with them to uncover any wealth or assets that your spouse has not disclosed.
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