Raworths LLP
International Issues International Issues

International Issues


We act for businesses as well as the people who create, own and invest in them, building long term relationships with our clients to understand the unique challenges and opportunities they face. Our depth of experience and knowledge is focussed on providing practical advice designed to meet all our clients’ business needs.

Individuals & Families

We understand how important your case is, our experienced teams are on hand to provide practical and effective legal advice. With one of the largest teams of lawyers in North Yorkshire we work for wealthy individuals and their families, trusts and family businesses - your needs are at the heart of what we do.


Our Commercial, Residential and Agricultural Property teams have the expertise to help you deal with the opportunities and challenges of the freehold and leasehold real estate market. We have substantial depth of experience of the property world and its demands which gives us the crucial ability to help you achieve your aims.

Resolving Disputes

Disputes are an unavoidable fact of life, but when they happen it is essential to find a quick, effective and practical solution to the situation. Whether your issues are commercial or business related, family or personal, we have the depth of experience, imagination and expertise to help you solve your problems.

Carmelita Ardren

Head of Family, Children and Divorce

Claire Hunter


Joanna Lofthouse

Chartered Legal Executive

Lucy Westmoreland

Trainee Chartered Legal Executive

In a world with increased global movement and reduced geographical barriers, more and more of our cases have an international dimension. Whether you have a holiday home overseas, or you live or work abroad or you need a complex multi-jurisdictional pre-nuptial agreement, our dedicated team can provide specialist family law advice you require.

Divorce forum

We often meet clients who have a connection with another country.  This could be, for example, due to nationality, the location of assets or because they live abroad (or have done so during the marriage).  In such cases, it is important to establish which countries could possibly entertain divorce proceedings and which may be preferable for you if there is a choice.  It is not unknown for one spouse deliberately to “forum shop” and start divorce proceedings in a country where they can obtain a tactical or financial advantage to the detriment of their spouse.

If you think this may be relevant to you then please contact one of our team to discuss your situation.  It may be necessary to take action swiftly to protect your position.

Overseas divorce

It is possible in certain circumstances to ask the court in England and Wales to grant financial provision after an overseas divorce.

Assets abroad

When negotiating a financial settlement on divorce both parties are required to make full and frank disclosure of their financial positions.  This includes disclosure of all assets, liabilities and income, wherever in the world they are situated.

Many of our cases involve assets situated abroad, such as a holiday home, bank account or a pension.  Specialist advice is required about the valuation of any such assets, liquidity, tax issues and how they can and should be treated on divorce.


The treatment of pensions on divorce is a complex area.  The situation is complicated further if a case involves pensions with an international dimension.

The issues can be divided broadly into two categories:

  1. An English divorce featuring a pension located abroad; and
  2. An overseas divorce featuring an English based pension scheme, where the pension scheme will not recognise or implement the parties’ foreign order or intended pension adjustment.

We have experience of dealing with cases involving these issues.

Pre-nuptial agreements

Whilst pre-nuptials agreements are not yet strictly binding in England and Wales, they are binding in many other countries.  If either party has a connection with another country then careful thought needs to be given to parties’ current and future living arrangements and personal circumstances and the appropriate forum for the pre-nup.

Specialist family law advice should be sought in each relevant country as to the terms, status and enforceability of the intended agreement and the need for mirror agreements to maximise its future effectiveness.

Leaving the country

Clients are often surprised to learn that unless they have a child arrangements order in their favour, then they cannot take a child out of the United Kingdom, even for a short holiday, without the consent of all others who have parental responsibility for their child, or an order of the court.  To do so may be a criminal offence under the Child Abduction Act 1984.

Many parents are able to agree holiday arrangements between themselves, including foreign holidays, but on occasions more formal assistance is required.  We can help you to negotiate an agreement to take your child or children on holiday abroad or, if a reasonable request is refused, make the necessary court application.

In some circumstances one party may have very genuine plans to move permanently abroad, perhaps to live with a new partner or to take up an offer of work. Again, if any other person with parental responsibility objects to the move then the court’s permission would be needed to remove the child or children from the United Kingdom.

These type of cases are clearly highly charged emotionally and are difficult to resolve, with one parent facing the prospect of their child living possibly thousands of miles away, with the consequent impact on their relationship.  Forward planning is therefore key.

We have experience of dealing with these type of cases.

How to contact us

Please contact Carmelita Ardren Head of Family on 01423 566666 or use this link to complete our online enquiry form and a member of our specialist family law team will get back to you.