In our case both marriage and divorce took place in Japan, with both of us present. The divorce application was amicable, and mutual, and was granted by a Family Court. The Japanese Family Court decision was issued (we have copies), and entered into my former wife's Family Register, that in Japanese law shows the state of affairs (births, marriages, divorces, deaths, residences) as of the date of issue of a copy, which is always dated. Only up-to-date transcripts are recognised.
The British record, as sent to London by the British Embassy, shows that the marriage took place, but there is no record either of the Japanese divorce, or more seriously, of my subsequent remarriage, which again took place in Japan. I assume the Embassy did not send notice of the second marriage to London (where I can find no record of it), as they knew it would appear to be bigamous. That marriage is entered in my second wife's Family Register, with my name as the counterparty, as are the births of our children (in the UK).
My second wife is understandably unhappy with a state of affairs that has the British Government recognising a brief marriage dissolved 30 years ago, but not our present, longstanding one.
So, I need both the divorce and second marriage to be recognised in the UK. I first tried with the British Embassy in Tokyo 30 years ago, and am now trying again, but so far with no more success than at that time. My children, who are very English, would be mortified to discover they are bastards in English law, as some day they surely will if this is not fixed. Their British Birth Certificates show the correct mother and father, but not (I think) their married status.
I am in Japan now, but being blown off by the Brit Consulate - I suspect this is a common problem they just don't want to know about. I think they should have registered both marriages in London, or neither.
There also are obvious inheritance implications. I am confident Wife #1 will not contest, but who knows about subsequent generations?
BTW. Where are the records kept these days that used to be at Somerset House (Clarence House)? It is many years since I inspected them, and the web is being unhelpful.
Thanx for yr attention.