Although you are living as an expat in Spain, you may find yourself in need of professional legal advice on matters relating to the laws of England and Wales. Typically, this may be for divorce or matters concerning children.
Our UK qualified divorce lawyer Mark Nierada has been practising since 1985 and advising expatriates on UK divorce for the last 15 years; he has broad experience, knowledge and understanding in dealing with the legal issues of British and other expats.
Our advice to any expat involved in a marital separation, or who is considering ending their marriage, is to carefully assess their position as early as possible.
There is a common misunderstanding that if you are a UK citizen living abroad you can no longer use the legal system of England and Wales to petition for divorce. This is not the case and we can assist with guiding you towards making the right decision about when and where to divorce.
We can also provide you with full legal representation both in Spain and the UK. So-called "forum shopping" is not just for the super-rich: it should be considered by anyone with a significant connection to more than one country.
Using the UK courts may be a better option than dealing with matters locally, depending on questions such as the location of your assets, which country's laws favour the outcome you want to achieve and tax implications.
You also need to factor in the costs and logistics of conducting a case in Spain or in the UK. The legal framework for how financial and child-related matters are dealt with varies widely across countries. The outcome of divorcing in Spain, say, may be very different from what you might expect to achieve in the UK.
Even if you don't want, or need, to go to court, understanding your options is an important part of being in a stronger negotiating position with your spouse.
You may find that the local law works well for your situation. The key is to make an informed decision with the benefit of specialist legal advice. The rules of international divorce are complicated, but your choice can make a significant difference to the outcome, both financially and personally.
It's essential to talk through your options with an experienced international divorce lawyer before you make decisions which could have an impact on your life for years to come.