England tops the league for divorce awards

English jurisdiction for divorce and financial claims can be worth fighting for as the difference in the level of financial award, depending upon where the claim is dealt with, can be vast. Disputes about which country should deal with a divorce and financial claims (known as forum disputes) are high stake, with international couples navigating through complex international, EU and domestic laws.

The facts of Mittal v Mittal [2013] EWCA Civ 1256 illustrate the allure of the English court to financially weaker parties even where they have only the slightest of links here and the lengths to which they will go, to try to hold on to this most generous jurisdiction.

The case concerned a forum dispute between England and India. Both parties were Indian nationals and they had married in India. They moved to England in 2006 and separated in 2009. Neither of them had any assets or income in the UK. Following separation, the husband started divorce proceedings in India in 2009 and the wife issued her petition in England in 2011 despite the existence of the husband’s petition and the fact that she had returned to live in India in 2010…

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