UK Courts to centralise divorce services
Drastic measures are being taken by UK courts to combat fraud. From January 2015, divorce services will be centralised to just 20 courts across the country, all in an attempt to combat fraud.

In September 2014 a firm based in Italy was discovered to have been charging up to £3,700 to arrange divorces in the UK for Italian couples who, in Italy, would have to live together for over three years before they could legally divorce.

It transpired that 179 of the 180 divorcing couples concerned had falsely claimed that one of them lived at an address in Maidenhead (the same address was used in each case) and in the remaining case the couple concerned used an address in Epsom. Neither address was actually a residence at all, but simply a mail box used to satisfy the habitual residence requirement of the Domicile and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1973, s 5 (as amended) and EC Council Regulation No 2201/2003.

The 180 petitions were issued in 137 different courts across England and Wales in an attempt to avoid the use of the same address being noticed. It was only when a member of the court staff at Burnley County Court noticed that the same address had been used before that the fraud came to light.
In an attempt to minimise the future risk of fraud such as that seen in Rapisarda v Colladon, the new centralised process is also likely to require statements of truth to be signed at both petition and (in the case of special procedure divorces) decree nisi stage with warning notices clearly stating the penalties for false statements.

To read the full judgement of Rapisarda v Colladon (Irregular Divorces) [2014] EWFC 35 click here

We are the winner of the 2014 Global Mobility & Immigration Award!
Over the years we at E A Law have been working hard to improve our global reach and ensure that all our work is executed with excellence. Our commitment to innovation and ensuring that all of our clients receive top quality service has been recognised by a leading business and finance magazine, Acquisition International. And, we are honoured and excited to announce that we have been revealed as the winner of their 2014 Global Mobility and Immigration Award!

The awards, in their first year, recognise law firms, financiers, relocation specialists and global mobility experts for their expertise and excellence to service in what is a highly specialised field. The awards are handed out solely on merit and are awarded to only the most deserving businesses who have been nominated by their clients, peers and industry experts, for their outstanding work over the past 12 months.

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To find out further information about the awards, please see the following supplement.