Expat Divorce Package
Expat Divorce (uncontested) Package
You may wish to Divorce using the legal system of England and Wales if you were born in England or Wales and have maintained links with your country of origin or your spouse is resident in England or Wales whilst you are not. If this is something you are considering please contact our Senior Partner, Miss Joanne Bennett either by email or telephone in order to explore whether you are eligible to Divorce in the courts of England and Wales.
If you can use the jurisdiction of England and Wales then the process of Divorce for you will, on the whole, be the same as for parties living in England and Wales.
It is very important to us that you understand at the start of your case that a Divorce will not deal with the division of your house, assets, income, pensions etc. or the future arrangements for your children.
To deal with your matrimonial finances you will need to instruct us to represent you in this regard. As lawyers, we call this process Ancillary Relief. Work done with regard to Ancillary Relief matters is normally charged at our hourly. We can usually provide a package price for this and if this is how you would prefer to pay please discuss this with your lawyer.
As an Expat, if you have assets abroad it is possible to deal with the division of these by agreement. Matters are somewhat more complicated if a court application is required, as the court does not have the power to make an order in respect of assets which are not in England or Wales. Your lawyer will be able to discuss this with you once initial information has been provided.
What does Uncontested mean?
The majority of divorces proceed on an uncontested basis. This means that both you and your spouse give consent to the marriage being ended. An uncontested divorce is dealt with by the court without the need for any court hearings.
What your Divorce Package includes:-
- The advice and support of your lawyer.
- The preparation of the Divorce Petition and accompanying documentation, preparation of the application for the Decree Nisi and the application for the Decree Absolute.
- The preparation (if necessary) of an affidavit (sworn statement) setting out why you believe you are entitled to divorce in the courts of England and Wales.
- Court fees for starting your proceedings (the "issue fee") and the court fee for the Decree Absolute.
- Telephone calls, emails and letters to/from you, your spouses' solicitor and the court.
Legal Fees £990.00
VAT £198.00 (if applicable)
Court Fees £550.00
Total £1,738.00 (£1,540.00 if VAT exempt)
What's not included:-
- Swear Fees
You will need to swear on oath or affirm an affidavit your lawyer, as part of your package, will provide you with the document that you have to swear and advise you how to swear it. To swear the affidavit you will need to attend either a court office (this is a free service in the UK) or a solicitor (other than FLC) for this the solicitor is likely to make a small charge. This is entirely normal and is a legal requirement that if we prepare an affidavit for you that you cannot swear it in front of us.
In the average case it will not be necessary for you to have the following items and it is for this reason that they are not included in the package. In the unusual circumstance that you do need to take an additional step your lawyer will advise you what you need and the cost of the action needed.
The possible "add ons" to your package are:
- Court Hearings
If you get into a dispute with your spouse, as to whether or not they should reimburse you your legal fees of divorce (known as your "claim for costs"), the court will require you to file a statement and attend a hearing where the court will decide where to order your spouse to pay your costs and the amount of costs to be paid. Should you not wish to deal with this yourself you can instruct your lawyer to draft the required statement and represent you at court. This will be charged at our hourly rate unless we agree a package "add on" price with you.
- Personal Service/Bailiff Service of the Divorce papers upon your spouse.
In certain circumstances your spouse may ignore/fail to acknowledge the Divorce Petition. If this happens your lawyer may advise you to have your spouse personally served. The court Bailiff (if your spouse is in England or Wales) charges a small fee of £20.00 to do this, although they have a lot of other duties and this may mean that serving your papers takes a few weeks. The alternative is to employ a Process Server, who will act just for you and who will promptly locate your spouse and serve them with the papers. A cost estimate for this service will need to be obtained as it will vary from country to country.
- Application for Deemed Service
This is a court application, usually made by post, for an order stating that the court is satisfied that your spouse has received the Divorce papers. This will only be applicable to certain cases. Again we will advise you if this action is necessary and appropriate. We will of course provide an estimate of charges prior to the application being made.
AND of course it is likely that you will need to have advice and assistance in formalising your financial position upon divorce. Even if you have no assets to divide it is important that you obtain a "clean break" from your spouse in a financial sense, simply divorcing is not enough.