International Family Law Process

LSL Family Law Linda Lamb

Increasingly there is an international element to all areas of family law. There are more relationships where the couple are from different countries. Also, individuals and couples have opportunities to work abroad, with children then being born in a country that is not the country of origin for either parent. If the relationship ends it is complicated to decide in which country the divorce or application about the children should be started – this is called the jurisdiction.

Sometimes there needs to be legal advice obtained from another jurisdiction to find the order that is available in that country. For example: one parent wishes to return to their country of origin with the children and the parent remaining in the UK wants to make sure they can have a mirror of the UK order, so they can continue to have a relationship with their child.

Dispute resolution is still possible, even if one or both of the couple live out of the UK. All the dispute resolution options (mediation, collaborative law and arbitration) can be used. Either one or both of the couple can use videoconferencing or dates can be fixed when both are in the UK.

International Family Law: A Case Study


Two cohabitees had a young child who was under one year old when the couple separated. The mother could not accept that the child should be with the father (my client) for anything other than one hour at a time and certainly not overnight, despite the fact he worked in paediatric medicine. The mother was seeking to return to Spain with the child which meant my client would rarely see her, changing their relationship for ever.


The mother made an application to court without notice and merit. I then helped the father provide his information to the court in a logical way and made sure that everything was totally child focused.


The court did not recommend a move to Spain and the time the child spent with the father was increased to several nights each week plus holidays. This is working well. The child has developed a lovely relationship with the father and now has regular contact with her paternal family.    

LSL Family Law Linda Lamb

More LSL Family Law Case Studies


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