Divorce in Scotland and maintenance may be ordered in England

  • 3 mins read

Judgment was today given by the Supreme Court in the case of Villiers v Villiers, enabling Mrs Villiers to pursue maintenance through the English Courts rather than Scotland, even though they divorced in Scotland and where a far less favourable regime was available. 

The case provides an overview of the development of the laws which enabled this application to be before it. The case, which related to maintenance of £2,500 a month and legal costs provision of £3,000 made the way through the High Court, Court of Appeal and to the Supreme Court. The costs involved in the pursuit to this decision must have been quite staggering.  

The case flags the fact that may be unknown to many, Scotland has its own legal regime and subsequently rules in relation to divorce and even if you get divorced in one place, it does not mean it is the end of the story if you have ties to England and Wales.  That has certainly been the case for Mrs Villiers, who returned to live in England after spending much of the marriage in Scotland. 

Typically, if you are divorcing then it is usually the place where you both live that will deal with the legal process for your divorce. However, if one or both of you have retained links to other countries then there are many complexities and things to think about before deciding where to start divorce proceedings. Even if you do divorce elsewhere, there may still be financial claims which can be made in England if you have not re-married.

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