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ReadyLaw, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1753
Experience:  Bar Professional Training Course
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A question for an international family law lawyer.. ..i was

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a question for an international family law lawyer..
JA: Have they talked to a lawyer about this? What country do they live in? If different, what country does this legal question relate to?
Customer: ..i was married in Addis Ababa and we have 2 british kids if I divorce in Ethiopia does their law kick in regards ***** ***** which I owned outright before she arrived? we both live here in UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: i have contacted an Ethiopian Lawyer
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ok that’s fine

​good day your question has been sent to me to see if I may be able to assist.

​where are you both now residing?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
In the UK
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
She has applied for a home rights notice
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I wanted to divorce under Ethiopian law to avoid her claiming any rights
Where is the property located that you are worried that she may be seeking an interest in?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Kirkby in Ashfield Nottingham UK
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. The difficulty you will have is that as she has commenced proceedings in the UK, that court will not be in control of the matter. As such, you would not be able to now commence proceedings in Ethiopia in relation to these properties. Unfortunately, if you were to do this, the UK can court will rule that they have jurisdiction over the matter.The best option for you therefore is to challenge her entitlement to the property in the UK court. You may find that to do this you may need to instruct a Solicitor who would be able to argue, in your favour, the reasons why she may not be entitled to an interest in the property or if she is entitled, her entitlement should be a small amount.I hope this helps.Kindly let me know if I may be of further assistance.Kindly indicate by clicking on the stars at the top of the page that you have accepted the answer given.Best wishes
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
We are going to court over the children not my estate, the divorce has not been commenced as yet because she is trying to claim asylum as she is in a temporary spouse visa
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
She needs to stay married to me in the UK until her leave to remain visa is processed
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Should I initiate the Ethiopian divorce?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I am in the driving seat, all I need to know is if I divorce her by Ethiopian Law from the UK will it stand in court ?
I will respond shortly. I am away from
my desk.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ok thank you

Thank you for your patience.

If you were to obtain an order in relation to the division of property in Ethiopia, you would still need for it to be recognized in the UK. You would therefore be required to make an application in the UK courts for any order made by the court in Ethiopia to be recognized here in the UK so that you may enforce it.

For a final judgment to be recognized and enforced at common law, it must be binding, final and conclusive.

You will also be require to demonstrate that:

  • At the time the proceedings commenced in Ethiopia your wife was present there;
  • Your wife was made a party to the proceeding in Ethiopia;
  • Your wife voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the courts in Ethiopia by appearing in the proceedings;

So therefore, it is not as straightforward as you would think. You may apply and get an order respect of the property in Ethiopia, however, as the property is in the UK, you will ultimately want to be able to enforce the judgment. You will have to think carefully as to whether you will be able to satisfy the above requirement.

I have noted that you mentioned that the property was acquired prior to your wife coming to the UK. You could therefore argue that she is not entitled to a share in the property. Or, if she is, a minimal amount. I must warn you that in order to get the court to grant you such an order you would have to demonstrate some of the following thins ( this list is not meant to be exhaustive) :

  • Whether property was obtained prior to marriage
  • Whether the marriage was short lived
  • her contribution, if any to the upkeep of the property.

I hope I have put things into perspective for you. Kindly let me know if I may be of further assistance.

Kindly indicate whether you have read and accepted the answer given by clicking on the stars at the top of the screen.

All the best


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi the property is owned by me and it’s in the UK not Ethiopia, I got married in Ethiopia only

I am aware that the property is located in the UK.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
from your expert opinion do you think I should divorce in Ethiopia or the UK? We have been married 6 years and I owned the house from 1996 and paid for it in full 8 years ago
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
From 2015 - 2018 she contributed towards the utility bills

Please have a read through of the detailed guidance I wrote above. I explained the implication of the court in Ethiopia making an order re the property. Have you read it?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
by getting divorced in Ethiopia would that help my situation better than getting divorced here?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My wife will be in the UK when I apply for the divorce, she will contest the divorce as she needs to stay married to claim a residency visa here in the UK

if you have been separated you need to notify the home office. That will be sufficient to notify them that the spousal visa should not be extended.

It really is a matter for you where you commence proceedings after having been given your options. It seems to me you will struggle however to enforce any judgment obtained in Ethiopia in the UK as she is not a resident there. You may therefore have to commence proceedings in the UK

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
She is claiming that I abused her so home office are paying her legal bills, we have 2 kids born in UK also..
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
it looks like I will have to commence proceedings in the UK

It will be a personal choice you will have to make.

ReadyLaw, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1753
Experience: Bar Professional Training Course
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