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Family Law

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10 JUN 2010

DIVORCE/ DOMICILE: M v M (Divorce: Domicile)

(Family Division; Baron J; 29 January 2010)

The wife issued a divorce petition in England on the basis of her English domicile of origin. The issue was whether the wife had in fact acquired and maintained domicile of choice in Denmark.  

One day before the couple married in Denmark, the wife was required - with no legal advice - to sign a Danish pre-nuptial agreement which was translated into English by the husband.

The agreement contained no clause as to jurisdiction. The couple had spent their married life in a variety of places, including Denmark and England. The husband was Danish and their two children held Danish and US/ Irish nationalities. They had no assets or property in England, although the family had left Denmark because the wife was unhappy there and they moved to Dubai. The wife had always wanted and asked for an English base, but had been denied this by the husband. The wife was not returning to Denmark to live post-divorce. The wife spoke Danish but would be at a disadvantage litigating in Denmark because her grasp of the written language was much more limited than her husband's grasp of written English.  

Held that the case to proceed in England. On the facts the wife had not acquired a domicile of choice in Denmark despite living there for 4 years.

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