If you and your spouse were married abroad you will under most circumstances still be able to file for a divorce in either England or Wales. As we’re regularly asked what circumstances would prevent a court based in this jurisdiction from hearing a divorce application or whether or not this affects the procedures that the courts follow, though, we thought we’d write a post addressing the most salient points.
Firstly, the courts will not accept a certificate that is not in English unless it is accompanied by a translation. Some courts will require this translation to be notarised and, as you will be required to foot the cost of having your certificate translated and notarised translations can be up to 300% more expensive than a standard fully certified translation, it is best to avoid such courts if at all possible.
Whilst finding an individual or company that can provide translation services is a straightforward task thanks to modern day search engines, choosing the right organisation is an entirely different matter. Companies which have accrued EN 15038 certification will have proven that their work is of the required standard meaning that it is significantly less risky to instruct them and that you can enjoy greater peace of mind as a result.
Should you require a replacement copy of your marriage certificate, then you should contact the hotel/church etc. that held your wedding and follow their instructions. Alternatively, if they are unable to assist you, then you should contact the British embassy of the relevant country.
Finally, an English or Welsh court will be able to consider your application for a divorce provided at least one spouse lives in (or has significant ties to) either country and has done so for a period of at least 12 months. It does not matter if the Respondent is the individual that resides in said jurisdiction either, meaning that the Petitioner can be located anywhere in the world provided that the Respondent lives in either England or Wales.