Can I get divorced in the UK if I got married abroad?

To get divorced in England and Wales you firstly have to have been married for at least 12 months, and have a valid marriage that is legally recognised in this country.

It is then necessary to prove to the Court that you have the necessary “jurisdiction” to petition in a court in England and Wales:-

  • You and your spouse are habitually resident here
  • You and your spouse were last habitually resident here and one of you still resides here
  • Your spouse is habitually resident here
  • The person issuing the petition is habitually resident here and has resided here for at least a year immediately before presenting the petition
  • The person issuing the petition is domiciled and habitually resident here and has resided here for at least 6 months before presenting the petition
  • Both you and your spouse are domiciled in England and Wales (only relevant to marriage)

If none of the above applies, you might be able to issue a petition for divorce in England and Wales if no other Court has or is recognised as having “jurisdiction”.