The courts in England and Wales can only deal with divorce proceedings where one or more of the following criteria applies:

  • Both parties are habitually resident in England and Wales.
  • Both parties were last habitually resident in England and Wales and one party still resides there.
  • The respondent is habitually resident in England and Wales.
  • The petitioner is habitually resident in England and Wales and has lived there for at least one year immediately before the petition is filed.
  • The petitioner is domiciled and habitually resident in England and Wales and has been residing in England and Wales for at least six months immediately before the petition is filed.
  • Both parties are domiciled in England and Wales.

Habitually resident can be defined as the country in which a person has established the permanent or habitual centre of his interests. This is usually the country where the person lives or spends the majority of his time.

If none of the criteria set out above applies to the situation, the courts in England and Wales may still gain jurisdiction if no court of another EU state has jurisdiction and either party is domiciled in England and Wales on the date the petition is filed at court.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to divorce in England and Wales contact us on 0800 9978695 for a free consultation.

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