Divorce in the UK from the UAE

The number of people choosing to live and work abroad is continuously on the rise, providing an increase in the number of ‘international families’.

Consequently, the number of cross-border disputes relating to divorce, relationship breakdown or arrangements for children has also increased.

Where such disputes arise, it is vital to seek early advice from legal experts with particular knowledge of family law in the jurisdiction in which are permitted to issue.

Choosing a jurisdiction

At TWS our UK Family Law Team can advise you on the best country for your case to be heard, both in terms of financial settlement and issues relating to arrangements for children.

Our International Family Law Team can also advise on:

  1. Parental Responsibility disputes;
  2. Custody arrangements (Children Act applications for residence and/or contact);
  3. Financial settlement applications (Ancillary Relief applications)
  4. Relocation of children – including where a parent wishes to relocate outside England to another jurisdiction;
  5. Cross border divorces;
  6. Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements;


At TWS our family lawyers are empathetic but also have a proactive approach which ensures that the children’s best interests are always placed at the forefront of any proceedings.

Whether you are at the beginning stage of separation or have decided to proceed with a divorce, we will listen to, advise and support you in whatever means required. We will explain the process and procedures involved and what is to be expected not only at the outset of the case but also during as part of an excellent client care service.

Our lawyers encourage a conciliatory and non-confrontational approach to resolving disputes. The most effective way in which to reach a cost-effective settlement for clients is to represent the client by not being unnecessarily hostile and to encourage dialogue and an amicable solution with the other party. In the case that is not possible our team is also experienced in dealing with contested court proceedings in the UK.

Family Mediation

Mediation is a quick and effective way of resolving disputes which arise from a relationship breakdown. It can be less antagonistic and cheaper than other routes. A mediator will guide discussions between you and your ex-partner in order to look at options and solutions that feel fair for the both of you.

Mediation can be used in order to deal with issues related to children including contact, residence and relocation. Mediation can also be used to deal with financial issues such as maintenance payments, property disputes and pensions.

Mediation sessions are confidential, which can help the privacy and reputation of those involved. They can be held at short notice wherever is most convenient and mediators are able to propose creative solutions which may not be available to the courts.

Ancillary Relief

It is usually the case that ancillary relief or an attempt to reach a financial settlement between a divorcing couple will run concurrent to the divorce proceedings. Even if parties are agreeing to an amicable split of assets, any financial agreement cannot be made binding or final until the Decree Nisi has been granted, which is colloquially known as the half-way point of the divorce proceedings.

The Court has the power to Order the following:

  • A financial order to apply to the sale or transfer of property;
  • A payment of a lump sum from the assets or pension;
  • Maintenance payments in the case that there are children and an income for a non-employed spouse is required;
  • A clean break where the children of the marriage are older;
  • Offsetting the former matrimonial home against other assets i.e. allowing wife to remain in the family home in exchange for not making a claim against husband’s pension;

Our UK family law solicitors are members of Resolution and as such follow a Code of Practice that promotes a constructive and non-adversarial approach to family issues and considers the needs of the whole family, in particular the best interests of children.

At TWS we advise and assist clients to achieve the best possible financial outcome to address both their needs and the circumstances of the case.

Children Disputes

We offer advice and representation in relation to the following issues:

  • Contact with child (Child Arrangement Order);
  • Residence (Child Arrangement Order);
  • Prohibited Steps Order (Proceedings preventing either party from altering arrangements still being considered by the Court);
  • Specific Issue Order (Proceedings determining the schooling or religious education of the child);
  • Parental Responsibility;

Our Family law team will ensure that you will have a clear and concise case plan from the outset which will set out procedure and time scales so you as the client are able to make informed decisions and provide instructions accordingly.

Our lawyers encourage a conciliatory and non-confrontational approach to resolving disputes. Experience shows that the most effective way in which to reach a cost-effective settlement for clients is to represent the client by not being unnecessarily hostile and to encourage dialogue and an amicable solution. In the case that is not possible our team is also experienced in dealing with contested court proceedings in the UK.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements

A pre-nuptial agreement is an agreement entered into between two parties intending to marry and a post-nuptial agreement is an agreement entered into by two parties that are already married. Both documents symbolise the parties’ intention to regulate their legal position in the event that the marriage was to break down.

Currently in England and Wales a pre-nuptial agreement is not binding but the Court is unlikely to depart from the same if it can be shown that both parties entered into the agreement not immediately prior to the marriage, they had the option of seeking independent legal advice and there was full and frank disclosure between the parties in terms of personal and financial information.

A post-nuptial agreement is binding in England and Wales as it falls under the definition of a ‘maintenance agreement’ pursuant to Section 34 (2) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. However, there are factors which could make the agreement void such as if there had not been full and frank disclosure between the parties or undue influent had been applied to a party to get them to enter into the agreement.

To obtain more information or book a consultation on UK Family Law & Divorce matters, please contact one of our experienced UK qualified family law specialists. Email us at info@twslegal.ae or call +971 4 448 4284.

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