Married abroad and divorced in the UK

8th March 2015 by


Getting married abroad is big business and many couples decide that taking their vows on a sandy beach under golden sun is exactly how they want their big day to be remembered. So, they pick a resort and fly out, sometimes alone and sometimes with friends and family, for a wonderful continental wedding trip.

However, if the relationship breaks down and the couple later decide they wish to get divorced, can they have their marriage dissolved in the UK?

This is a question of jurisdiction.

Healys divorce solicitors in Brighton can quickly explain whether you have the right to get divorced under English and Welsh family law. To find out more about jurisdiction in divorce please click here.

Can you get divorced in the UK?

Whether, as English residents, you got married in Brighton or Bermuda, it is almost certain that you will be able to get divorced in the UK.

As long as your marriage was valid under the laws of the country in which it took place, and you have been domiciled or habitually resident in England or Wales, then your divorce application will almost certainly be able to go ahead.

Most travel companies which provide wedding packages abroad will be fully aware of all the various means of compliance for your destination of choice, and should inform you of all documents that will be required for the formal recognition of your marriage before you travel.

If you are planning to ‘go it alone’ or decide to get married while already travelling abroad, you can check whether your marriage will be legal, and what documents you will need to provide, by going to the GOV.UK website page, Getting Married Abroad.

If you were married abroad because you were living there at the time, or your partner is a foreign national, but you are now settled in England or Wales, you will also be able to apply for a divorce to be heard under UK family law as you are a habitual resident.

Do you need advice regarding jurisdiction in divorce?

If you are unsure whether you are able to get divorced under English and Welsh family law, or wish to apply for a divorce in the UK on grounds of habitual residence or domicile, please contact Healys LLP.

To get in touch with a divorce solicitor at our Brighton our London offices, email an enquiry to