The recent court judgment in Thum v Thum has shown the importance of having a clear regime in place to decide in which country divorce proceedings should take place for families living an international lifestyle, as well as having savvy legal advisers.

The wife had filed her divorce petition in England but didn't serve the husband with it for another 3 months.  Under the existing rules the earliest petition issued usuallydecides the country where divorce proceedings take place, but  the husband argued the delay in serving him meant this did not apply.  The court found that the English proceedings would go ahead.  I particularly like the judgment referring to filing a divorce petition being like putting one's towel on a sun-lounger at dawn.

This judgment was made shortly before the British government has decided to opt the UK into the amended Brussels IIA regime to decide cross-border disputes.

It is vital that anyone thinking about divorce, who has links to two or more countries, get good legal advice from experienced solicitors at an early stage.