Financial relief after an overseas divorce

Financial relief after an overseas divorce

Case study*


• Two Russian nationals divorced in Russia and entered into a financial consent order

• The wife had a connection to England, as she lived in London with her children

• The wife successfully secured permission to apply to the court and made a substantive application for financial relief in England

Her case:

• Various trusts were concerned in this case, one of which owned the former matrimonial home in London where the wife resided

• The wife argued that she was under huge pressure and was suffering from depression when she agreed the financial order in Russia

• She stated that the Russian order made no provision for spousal or child maintenance

• She also argued that one of the trusts acted as a pre-nuptial agreement, and this was not taken into account in the final Russian order

His case:

• The husband stood by the final financial agreement reached in Russia

• He argued that the wife had legal representation before and after the Russian order was agreed and was placed under no pressure

• The husband argued the wife was using the Part III application as “a second bite of the cherry”

What was the outcome?

Although it took the wife five years to make a claim in England, it was held that a Part III financial order should be made in her favour, despite the existence of the Russian final order.

The English financial relief system is often believed to be one of the most generous globally, which is why many people consider London as being the divorce capital of the world.

The MFPA 1984 is there to protect and provide individuals who have been disadvantaged in an overseas court with an opportunity to receive a fairer settlement, providing they can meet certain requirements.

However, the above is the current legal position and once we leave the EU, this may well change. For anyone thinking about making an application, don’t hesitate to speak to our family team.

*Z v Z & Ors [2016] EWHC911