How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask chatham-chamber Your Own Question
chatham-chamber
chatham-chamber, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13633
Experience:  LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
12179604
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
chatham-chamber is online now

My sister is married with 2 children and lives with her

This answer was rated:

Hello! My sister is married with 2 children and lives with her husband in UK. They all hold PRs in the UK. If they seek a divorce, can they do it from the UK or do they need to return to Malaysia (their country of origin where they also got married) to process the divorce?
JA: What steps has your sister taken? Has she filed any papers in family court?
Customer: None.
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county does your sister live in?
Customer: She lives in Hove. But she and her husband are originally Malaysian and was married in Malaysia. Can they seek divorce in the UK as they are PRs in UK? Or do they need to return to Malaysia?
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Connect us to?

Hi,

Thank you for your query. Are all the parties to the marriage resident in the UK?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Yes.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Since I am now enquiring for my sister, i am just helping to obtain some general information first.

Hi,

If all of the parties to the marriage are habitually resident in the UK, Divorce would have to be applied for within the UK and NOT Malaysia.

Divirce proceedings should be initiated in the UK by either Party.

I hope this answers your questions. If so, kindly rate the answer and provide feedback.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Many thanks

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
So I comfirm that EVEN THOUGH they are married in Malaysia, they can apply for divorce directly in UK because they are PR and living in UK - right?

Hi,

Yes. If they are both in the UK, they MUST apply in the UK. If one was in Malaysia, it could have been done in either country.

As I have answered your original question, kindly rate the answer and provide feedback.

Your question will not close and I will be happy to answer any follow up questions.

Many thanks

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
If my sister file for divorce at the family court? What will happen? Can they husband kidnap the kids and run away with them back to Malaysia? And they are currently living in the same house.. what if the husband turns violent?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
When my sister file for a divorce, can she stop the husband from leaving UK with her children without her permission? The kids are 8 and 5 years old.

Hi,

No, the husband cannot kidnap the kids. If she is worried about this, she should apply for an occupation order and custody of the children as soon as possible.

As I have answered your original question, kindly rate the answer and provide feedback.

Your question will not close and I will be happy to answer any follow up questions.

Many thanks

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
What do you mean the husband cannot kidnap the kids? If she files for divorce and "occupation order and custody" at the same time, how long will it take to take effect? What if he takes them to the airport with their passports and board a plane with them, who can stop him? The children are too young to resist the father's command and manipulation.

It takes effect immediately.

As I have answered your original question, kindly rate the answer and provide feedback. Your question will not close and I will be happy to answer any follow up questions.

Many thanks

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Can u also advise what is the typical legal fees involved in having a solicitor like yourself represent her in the filing?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
how do i rate your answer? I don't see any button?

As I have answered your original question, kindly rate the answer and provide feedback.

Your question will not close and I will be happy to answer any follow up questions

There should be an ACCEPT or RATE button on your screen.

chatham-chamber and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi Sorry I didn't give u a tip yet bcos I stil need to clarify a few matters with you. ist that ok?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
R u saying that she can file an INSTANTANEOUS order that would stop the husband being able to remove the children from the UK? How is this done? I mean? Will there be a special stamp put on their passports?!

Hi,

Yes. She would need to go to her local county court and make an application for a non-molestation order and occupation order.

Once she has this, she can be assured that she will.be in the proeprty and have the kids.

She can then apply for Divorce.

Most firms charge £750 upwards for a divirce.

I hope this helps

No stamp on the passport

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Sorry.. i still don't understand how this can prevent him from kidnapping the kids out of the country. With the kids passport and the kids.. he can still bring them to the airport? R u saying the immigration department at the airport will be able to stop them if she has filed for an occupation order?!
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
currently they are all living in the same house. But we are not sure how he will respond if she files for divorce.. that's why we are trying to find out her rights and the protection she can get for herself and her children. Because he has threatened many times to take the children back to Malaysia with him if she tries to leave him.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
so this is the most important question for us.

Hi,

He cannot just take the children out on his own. Normally, a single parent taking children will be asked to produce either a letter from the other parent or a court order.

Therefore, he cannot just remove them from the country.

Further, the occupation order would state that he cannot remove them from the UK.

I hope this helps

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
So the immigration at the airport will have a list of children that are protected under the occupational order?!
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
So if he manages to kidnap the kids and take them to the airport, my sister will still have a hardtime to call the police and track them down right? Will the police be able to get the immigration to stop them from boarding the plane?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Assuming that she has the occupational order.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Actually, i tot occupational order relates to the family home. She is not so concerned about the house or him living in it bcos he has never shown physical violence so far. (only verbal and emotional abuse) But her only concern is that he will run off with the children to the airport.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
pls explain to me how the occupational order stops him from kidnapping the children.

The occupation order relates to the Property. At the hearing, she can request that the children are not removed from the UK

If he then attempts to do so, he would be in contempt of court

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
If the dad were to travel with 2 kids to fly out of the UK. Will the immigration request for the permission of the mother since the mother is not present? I don't think he will care that he is at comtempt of court in the UK as he can just go back to Malaysia and never return to the UK.

Hi,

Yes, airlines generally ask.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
And.. if there is no letter with signature.. or a fake letter with fake signature?

That would then be a Police matter

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
If she finds the children taken and reports to the police immediately, is the UK system so efficient that it is able to inform the airport immigration at a very fast pace to stop the kidnapping from happening?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
assuming she can show the police the court order that the kids cannot be removed from the UK.

Hi,

If she reported the incident to the Police, they should act immediately

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
OK. I guess the court in UK can also order the return of the children to UK as Malaysia and UK has a strong relationship as Malaysia is a commonwealth country. Can I know if the 750 pounds legal fees u mentioned is the minimum or the average fees?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
But legal proceedings being legal proceedings can drag and the children will be suffering from the separation from their mother.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
so i think we need to find out from the police- how efficient they are to stop a parent from kidnapping his own children.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
So my last question is about legal fees.. is 750 pounds an average fee or the minimum?

Hi,

It's an average fee

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi! I want to give you a tip, but it is confusing. The select button - 15%, 25% shows RM but the box where the number actually appears shows pounds... do u know if its RM or pounds?

Hi,

It should be local currency.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi! I have sent the tip. Meanwhile, can i ask you a few more questions?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
If my sister files for divorce in the UK? What is her chances of getting custody of her children. Her husband is the breadwinner and she just started teaching piano on a part-time basis recently. She is an educated lady and should be able to find a full time job if she is separated from her husband but at the moment is a part time piano teacher. What are the main criterias the court will look at?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
So first question is 1) chances/criteria of getting custody

Hi,

Difficult for me to say without taking further instructions. However, based on the conversation in thread, she has a good chance of gaining custody.

The court looks at the welfare and best interests of a child.

I hope this helps

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Second question is : What if my sister files for divorce and then her husband tells the court that he only wants to file for divorce in Malaysia. And that he insist on joint custody of the children and that the family must move back to Malaysia (bcos in Malaysia, he believe his mother(the childrens grandmother can assist him with the kids).
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Oic. So u r saying that her current financial status is not the main criteria. Based on the best interest of the child, a joint custody is probably the best. However, if he insist to move back to Malaysia? How will that work?

Hi,

I cannot say what the court would do in this situation as I would just be speculating.

This would be a decision only the courts can make.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
hmm.. i see. Ya. It can get quite complicated. Before a divorce, is there a divorce mediation team or counseling team that will sit with the couple to see if divorce is really the best option. If her husband is able to stop his verbal abuse, in fact, he is then a good father and husband.. so counseling is probably the best option for them before they truly seek divorce. But perhaps only when the wife files for divorce will he realise how serious the situation is and how harmful is the the emotional and mental stress of his wife.

Hi,

Counselling may be an option..There should be details available through your local family court