English courts still attractive to dependent divorcing spousesFinancially dependent spouses are still better off divorcing in England than in most other jurisdictions around the world, a landmark report released yesterday maintains.
Courts in England and Wales are the fifth most sympathetic to dependent ex-spouses in relation to continuing maintenance arrangements, after India, California, Singapore and Ireland. Scotland is eighth.
The five harshest jurisdictions, according to the report from Penningtons Manches, the London law firm, are: Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Finland, Japan and Russia.
The authors point out that there is a wide range of international approaches to the calculation and duration of income provision after divorce or dissolution. Some jurisdictions view maintenance as restorative only, while others seek to achieve parity of income with the wealthier spouse in the name of fairness.
Likewise, some countries have strict rules limiting the amount and period over which payments can be made. At the harsher, self-sufficiency end of the barometer, there is little or no continuing maintenance for ex-spouses.
While London retains its reputation as the so-called divorce capital of the world, thanks to still dependent-friendly courts, lawyers say the regime is by no means as sympathetic as it was.
“Gone are the days in England and Wales when the weaker financial party could expect lifelong financial support without examination of their earning potential and the lifestyle adjustments they could make to become self-sufficient,” James Stewart, a partner at Penningtons Manches and co-author of the report, said.
“Any international couple contemplating divorce would be well advised to look into the legislation governing spousal maintenance in their respective home countries to determine which jurisdiction would be most likely to meet their expectations for support following the breakdown of their relationship
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