You may be able to apply to the English Courts for a financial settlement order against your former spouse if you have already been divorced abroad and you obtained no financial settlement or the financial settlement made in the other country was inadequate. 

The English family courts have the ability to grant divorce financial provisions even though a divorce may have been previously pronounced abroad and financial provisions already made. The purpose of the legislation, known as Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 ("Part III") is to alleviate the adverse consequences of no, or no adequate, financial provision made on divorce by a foreign court in a situation where the parties had substantial connections with England.

Whether divorcing or separating, the division of financial assets needs to be decided and ideally recorded in a written settlement. Any final settlement reached will have far-reaching consequences and will deal with income, properties, lump-sum payments, pensions and other capital assets.

Dividing up money and belongings

When dividing finances between a divorcing couple the court will take into consideration:

  • Assets: the earnings, property and other financial assets each partner has or is likely to have in the future.
  • Needs and responsibilities: any debts, such as mortgages, that either partner needs to pay off or any children that need to be provided for.
  • Standard of living: the difference a divorce will make to the couple’s standard of living, as well as any contributions made to the marriage and their effect on the family's welfare.
  • Duration of the marriage: the length of the marriage, the age of both partners and the likelihood of either partner remarrying.
  • Disabilities: any physical or mental disabilities that will require funding for the partner to cope by themselves.
  • Behaviour: the behaviour of either partner may, in exceptional circumstances, be taken into consideration.
  • Benefits: any benefits brought to the marriage that may be lost on divorce, such as pension schemes.