Earlier this month, the English professional golfer Lee Westwood reached an eleventh hour financial settlement with his estranged wife Laurae, avoiding a Court Hearing in Florida.
Having married in 1999, the couple went on to have two children and lived in the United States until 2015 when their relationship broke down, at which time Mr Westwood returned to England and based himself in the North East since.
Whilst most of the press coverage surrounds the out of Court financial settlement relating to Mr Westwood’s estimated fortune of £50million which appears, in the main, to have accumulated during his successful golf career, the more important issue that affects any couple divorcing is where the divorce proceedings took place.
Laurae filed for divorce in Palm Beach, Florida. As such, the case was dealt with by the American Court. It would seem that Mr Westwood did not attend an initial Hearing so the case continued to be dealt with by the Court in Florida, even though Mr Westwood has been back in England for over two years.
It is so important for anyone considering issuing divorce proceedings to check where they can issue proceedings and on what basis as this may have a significant impact on the provision a Court may make for you or the financial arrangement that you may agree. Many of our clients, who have a base in the North West of England, also have close ties with many European countries and indeed Scotland, where the provision made for divorcing couples can be vastly different than that under the English legal system.
So, a word of warning; before you start to consider divorce proceedings, take advice on where those proceedings will be to ensure you achieve the outcome that’s right for you.
Farleys Solicitors have a number of experts in cross border divorce proceedings who can provide the advice and guidance you need at what can be a very difficult time. To speak to an experienced divorce solicitor, please can 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry online.