When a divorcing couple is based in one country, and most of their assets are based there, the court’s power to deal with the divorce and any financial settlement are relatively clear.
But if one spouse is perhaps living in one country, the other spouse is living somewhere else, and they have assets spread across multiple jurisdictions, the legal picture can become complicated.
Not only can divorce proceedings be brought in more than one jurisdiction, different countries have different rules when it comes to the division of assets. Depending on the situation, it could be financially better for one spouse to have the divorce dealt with in one jurisdiction over another.
If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to move quickly, because sometimes it can be as simple as the court where the case is listed first, is the court that decides the case.
Very complicated issues surrounding children can also arise in cases like these. Taking children out of the jurisdiction where they have been living, without the agreement of the other parent, could raise serious issues.
It’s not unheard of to hear accusations of criminal child abduction, so if you are thinking of moving children to another jurisdiction, or you think an ex-partner of yours might be contemplating doing so, it is crucial that you get legal advice to protect your rights.
For couples who move frequently between different jurisdictions and have property located around the world, it’s not uncommon to have prenuptial agreements.
Although a prenuptial agreement is not strictly legally enforceable in Northern Ireland, they can be enforceable in other jurisdictions.
Plus, even if they are not enforceable, courts in Northern Ireland will consider the contents of a prenuptial agreement to be a good indication as to the intentions of the parties, unless there is a good reason not to.