Financial relief after overseas divorce—court’s approach and case law

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Financial relief after overseas divorce—court’s approach and case law
  • Matters to which the court must have regard
  • Agbaje v Agbaje
  • Impact of delay
  • Disclosure
  • Importance of a valid marriage
  • Importance of a recognised divorce/dissolution
  • Domicile and habitual residence
  • The sharing principle
  • Interim maintenance

Financial relief after overseas divorce—court’s approach and case law

This Practice Note details the approach taken by the courts when dealing with an application under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (MFPA 1984) or Schedule 7 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (CPA 2004) following an overseas divorce or dissolution of civil partnership, including key case law. It also considers the impact of delay, the importance of a valid marriage, and a recognised divorce/dissolution, the court’s ability to order interim maintenance and the implications of Brexit. See also Practice Notes: Financial relief after overseas divorce—jurisdiction and legislative provisions and Financial relief after overseas divorce—procedure.

The court’s approach to an application for financial relief after an overseas divorce or dissolution is determined by both the legislative provisions at MFPA 1984, s 18 (or the mirror provisions in CPA 2004, Sch 7, para 10) and guidance given by the courts, primarily the leading decision of the Supreme Court in Agbaje v Agbaje.

11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marked the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements came to an end and significant changes took effect across the UK’s legal regime. From IP completion day, Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009

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