Divorce
Ending the marriage- the process to decree absolute
Financial issues in divorce- ancillary relief
Divorce and Pensions
Children
Divorce advice for men
Divorce for non residents
DIY divorces
Costs
Timescale - quick divorce or not
Wills & divorce
Legal Aid
Injunctions





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miscellaneous
Prenuptial Agreements
Cohabitees
Judicial Separation
Changing surnames
Civil partnerships


Contact
Contact


Legal Stuff
Disclaimer
This is a UK based forum about divorce and related issues. Feel free to contribute. Your experiences or opinions may help others. The links on the left lead to basic information about most common divorce questions. The information opens in a separate window. You can use the search function to search the forum.
User: Log In Create A New Profile
Actions: New Topic Print View RSS
Search
History: Home UK Divorce Forum
Topic:
Divorce for expat (4 Posts)
Started By:
Date:
07 November, 2009 06:42AM
Divorce for expat
Injustice101 - 07 November, 2009 06:42AM
I am British and my wife is South African. We married in the UK 12 years ago and have been in SA for the last 8 years, now the place of permanent residency. Lawyer's advice is that the divorce (irreconciliable differences) will be to the UK Law. We have no children. She has two, ages 30 and 40, from previous marriage. I have none. She is 66 and I am 51. She is unemployed and never worked during the marriage. At the time of marriage she had approx 10k GBP and I was worth approx 120k GBP. We now have a joint estate (fixed and savings) of 300k GPB plus my UK/SA pension (she has no pension). 40% of this is in her name (second home and savings) purely, as a non-tax payer, to avoid tax on interest. I have the following questions:

1. How will her needs be assessed? She can have the second home, I am willing to pay a fair allowance and also her medical insurance. She wants a lump sum. How will this be assessed in terms of need. My fear is that she will demand money more to support her one 30 year old son, and possibly to leave an inheritence.

2. She has a savings account but says there is nothing in it. There must be at least 30k GBP. What can I do to request disclosure? Can this be considered towards the need for a lump sum?

3. Although behaviour during marriage is ignored, are there any exception e.g. gambling? What if she was a gold-digger?

4. She left 6 months ago and took the PC. No monatary value but has data on the hardisk that is irreplaceable. Where do I stand legally?

I am concerned that the lawyers in SA will not be familiar with UK law. Thanks in advance.
Re: Divorce for expat
davidterry - 07 November, 2009 08:41AM
>>1. How will her needs be assessed? She can have the second home, I am willing to pay a fair allowance and also her medical insurance. She wants a lump sum. How will this be assessed in terms of need. My fear is that she will demand money more to support her one 30 year old son, and possibly to leave an inheritence.<<

Well, she is 66, does not work and is presumably retired. You are 51 and I assume have about 14 years of working life in front of you. Although she will not get more money to support an adult child or because she wishes to leave an inheritance there does not seem to be much reason why everything should not be divided equally. Her needs are almost certainly greater than yours because of her age and lack of earning capacity. That is likely to outweigh the fact that you owned some assets prior to the marriage.

>>2. She has a savings account but says there is nothing in it. There must be at least 30k GBP. What can I do to request disclosure? Can this be considered towards the need for a lump sum?<<

In England such disclosure can be compelled. I would be surprised if that was not also the case in SA but you would need to ask a lawyer in SA about that because that is where the divorce is taking place.

>>3. Although behaviour during marriage is ignored, are there any exception e.g. gambling? What if she was a gold-digger?<<

After a 12 year marriage it is a bit late to complain of your wife being a gold digger I think. Needs rather than behaviour are likely to determine the outcome in your particular circumstances.

>>4. She left 6 months ago and took the PC. No monatary value but has data on the hardisk that is irreplaceable. Where do I stand legally?<<

You would need to speak to a lawyer in SA about that.

>>I am concerned that the lawyers in SA will not be familiar with UK law. Thanks in advance.<<

You have a point. Although they can be provided with copies of the English statutes and case law which affect English divorce law an overseas court is very unlikely to know how these things are decided in practice in England because they have no feel for it. This type of situation is very unsatisfactory.
Re: Divorce for expat
Injustice101 - 07 November, 2009 09:12AM
Hi David,

Thanks for a quick and clear response.

I am willing to pay a lump sum but is the 50% share fair? The monthy allowance will be enough for her to live on (or at least to the life style she had) so the lump sum will be for security and any large outgoings. Does the 12 years of marriage out of my total working life of 30 years (i.e. 40%) together with our relative worth at the time of marriage not carry any weight. Would a 25% share be considered reasonable. It should still meet her needs. I may be pushing my luck smiling smiley.
Re: Divorce for expat
davidterry - 07 November, 2009 04:20PM
This divorce is taking place in South Africa where the court there will purport to apply English law. What their decision will be is anyone’s guess because they do not really have a feel for how the English courts decide these things day in day out. All the SA court will have before it will be the black letter of English law. That makes predicting what they will decide very difficult.

All I can say is that if this case fell to be determined in England I think a court here would not even contemplate the 25% division you suggest. The dependency of your wife, her age, the fact that she has never worked and the fact that you have a capacity to rebuild your financial situation would to my mind far outweigh the fact that you came into the marriage with more capital 12 years ago.
Goto Topic: Previous Next

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.