MFPA 1984: A life ring for those who divorce overseas
Thankfully, if one person feels they have been treated unfairly by the foreign courts, for example finding themselves left in financial hardship due to the outcome of the legal process, there is a route that can be taken. This is provided by the English and Welsh courts, which are known globally as having the fairest terms when it comes to divorce.
Access to financial relief in the UK stems from Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (MFPA 1984). For those who have a proven connection to the UK, the Act allows spouses who have divorced overseas to apply for permission to make an application for financial remedy in this jurisdiction, providing the unfair treatment by the foreign court cannot be corrected by that court.
When applying for financial relief under Part III of the MFPA 1984, a number of criteria must be assessed. These include:
• Whether the person has permission to make the application
• The connection that both parties to the marriage have to England and Wales
• The connection they have to the foreign court
• The financial benefits the applicant or a child of the family has or will receive because of the foreign divorce
• The rights the applicant has, or has had, to apply for financial relief from the other party under the foreign court
• The availability of any property in England and Wales
• The time elapsed since the foreign divorce
Although this may seem like a large number of criteria, successfully making a Part III application mainly relies on evidence of a strong link to the UK.
For anyone who finds themselves in a troubling position after an overseas divorce, contact Stephanie Kyriacou in our family team on 0116 257 4401 to find out how the MFPA 1984 can offer some hope of financial remedy.
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