How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 33955
Experience:  25 years hight street experience
13262538
Type Your UK Immigration Law Question Here...
Clare is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Am a UK citizen, married in the UK civil Registry office with

Customer Question

Am a UK citizen, married in the UK civil Registry office with a French Citizen. Have been expatriated and separated from French wife (living in France) for more than 5 years but still paying her costs in France. I work for a French company on a French contract (currently expatriated in Malaysia). I want to file for divorce on the grounds of irreconsiable differences (no agression on either side) and need to knwo whether I can file in the UK (since neither of us live there at present) or whether I have to file in France (where my estranged wife currently lives).
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
Do you have any links left with the UK?
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My mailing address is my father's house in North Wales. I return to the UK each year on vacation to stay with my parents.


I have a new partner (Nigerian) & 2 children (ages 2.5 & 1 year old) who live with me in Malaysia. I cannot get my company to accept responsibility for her as my legal partner until I am officially divorced. Dilemma. I heard that I cannot divorce in the UK as neither my estranged wife or myself have been officially resident in the UK in the last 12 months. I pay social security and declare taxes (but pay no income tax) in France since my contract with Total S.A. is a french contract.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
Does your ex want there to be a divorce?
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry (time difference from Malaysia).


She says she is willing to divorce BUT whether she really wants to or not is in question. Since I gave her the control 12 months ago and told her to chose a lawyer to act on behalf of both of us, she started the process but recently told me that lawyer cannot act for both of us, even though I had already provide the lawyer and my estranged wife with copies of all bank details, savings, shares, company retirement / investment paperwork etc (via email so I have records). As a result I have to assume she really does not want to actively promote the divorce. Why should she? i am still sending her Euro 3500 per month to pay for her apartment rental and basic living costs in Paris, as well as the tuition and living costs of our 23 year old son in Brussels. This is a key reason why we need to finalise the divorce, because I cannot afford to continue paying this kind of money each month now that I have been transferred from Nigeria and my take home salary is substantially reduced.


So to answer your question, I am working on the assumption that she does not want a divorce exactly, but that she would probably not too agressively be against it. I have sent her an email asking this question directly but she has not responded yet.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
If there is a risk that your ex will object to the divorce then it would not be sensible to issue a Petition in the UK as your claim to still be domiciled here is not strong enough to withstand a challenge if one is made
I am afraid that your most effective way forward is to find a French advocate who will deal with this for you
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She would probably not object to the divorce if we had professional advice on the split of assets (in this case just finance as no property is involved). BUT the risk is that we both need to receive professional legal & financial advice on how to prepare and propose an equitable financial split. Who can advise us on this? A UK lawyer / Notary? How does this work? Once these details are clarified I believe the actual divorce process will go ahead uncontested. Can you advise who I should talk to on preparing an offer on a equitable financial split after more than 20 years of marriage?

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
I would suggest that this is better dealt with in France where there is a clear link and no question of eligibility involved.
If you do wish to consider a UK divorce you should consider a specialist firm such as
http://www.family-lawfirm.co.uk/
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Apologies for rating "poor service" but I was perhaps expecting more from a paid service, and also am a little concerned at providing such personal information that is possible posted on an open site for anyone to read. My mistake for not understanding this beforehand.


To be honest, I was expecting a little more genuine advice on perhaps European lawyers / notaries etc. Given the EU standing and the amount of possible "mixed" marriages, I would have assumed that more information to support cases like mine might be available.


However, I assume I am to go in search of English speaking family lawyers myself in France to progress on this matter.


 

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry that you have marked my service as poor meaning that I get no credit for my time and have a negative feedback on my record - it is not necessary for a refund.
This is a simple question and answer site and I am a solicitor in the midlands.
I can tell you that there is a way of issuing proceedings in the UK - and also that it may not be the wisest way forward.
I also have some limited experience of UK firms specialising in ex-patriot divorce.
I have no knowledge of French lawyers - and can only pass on web pages such as this one
http://www.hg.org/law-firms/divorce/france.html
Alternatively I can confirm that this firm
http://www.kingsleynapley.co.uk/client-services/family-relationships-and-divorce/anglo-french-specialist-family-law-service
is certainly a good UK firm
Claire
Claire

Related UK Immigration Law Questions