Thum vs Thum – Divorce Proceedings
19 July 2018 by Melanie Wilson
The court of Appeal has recently decided that a wife should be allowed to divorce her husband in England notwithstanding she delayed in serving him with Divorce papers and her husband had issued Divorce proceedings himself in Germany.
Mr and Mrs Thum were both born in Germany. They moved to Kensington in London in 2009 to allow their two children to be educated in British schools.
Mrs Thum filed for divorce on the 26th October 2015. However, the Divorce papers were not served upon her husband until the 27th February 2016.
Mr Thum filed Divorce papers in Germany on the 20th January 2016.
Mr Thum applied to the English Court to prevent Mrs Thums’ divorce proceeding on the basis she had not taken the appropriate steps to ensure Mr Thum had been served with the Divorce proceedings at the correct address and in a timely manner. The High Court dismissed Mr Thums’ application. Mr Thum appealed to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal agreed with the High Court and dismissed Mr Thums’ appeal. Mrs Thum had filed for Divorce on the 26th October 2015. Mr Thum had not filed for Divorce in Germany until the 20th January 2016. Mrs Thums’ Divorce Petition was first in time and therefore the English Courts, rather than the German Courts will deal with the Divorce and all matters arising from the Divorce.
The English Courts will now deal with financial matters arising from the Divorce proceedings. This is something Mr Thum was looking to avoid. The English Courts are renowned for their generous financial awards in big money cases. The awards are usually significantly more generous than awards made in Europe.
It is essential that Divorce proceedings are issued in the appropriate Country as that Country’s laws will determine the level of financial provision to be made for both spouses. If both spouses are British nationals, living in England, an application must be made to the English Courts. However, if one or both spouses are foreign nationals, they may be able to issue Divorce proceedings in more than one Country depending upon a number of factors. If you are considering issuing Divorce proceedings and would like to seek advice on where to issue the Divorce proceedings, please contact Melanie Wilson on 01245 673767 or email [email protected].
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