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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

I am Polish. Can I get divorce in the UK?

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There are a number of different circumstances and reasons you may be asking where you stand if you are Polish and considering splitting up or getting a divorce in the UK. In this article, we will look at the basic requirements for a divorce in the UK and divorce options to consider.

Establish if you can divorce in England or Wales

You will need to first of all find out whether or not the UK courts have jurisdiction over your case. If you are not a British citizen or own a house property in England or Wales, you can still divorce, providing you meet one or more of the following criteria.

  • If you have lived in England or Wales for 6 months and you are domiciled there
  • If either yourself or your spouse are habitually resident in England or Wales
  • You or your spouse are domiciled in England or Wales and there is no other country that could have jurisdiction over matters
  • If your spouse lived in England or Wales and one still resides there
  • If your spouse lives in England or Wales
  • If you have resided in England or Wales for one year or more
  • If you are both domiciled in England or Wales
  • If you have lived in England or Wales for 6 months a

In all instances, it’s advisable to verify if you are able to get a divorce with a UK family lawyer.  Also note that if you were reliant on your partner to gain a visa for the UK, you will lose this after you are divorced and may have to reapply.

How does divorce work in the UK?

In Poland, you are only able to divorce via the Polish court system, where you will have to submit a petition through the Regional Courts. In England and Wales, in order to divorce, you must be able to establish that your relationship has broken down permanently, and that you have been married for over a year. You will also need to ensure your marriage is legally recognised in the UK.

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Options for divorce in the UK

  • DIY divorce UK – if both you and your spouse agree on dissolving the marriage, you can divorce without using a solicitor. Between you, you will need to come to your own agreement on splitting assets and matters relating to children. Although this route is seen as the more cost-effective way of divorcing, dividing things can be problematic and complex. Note that in England and Wales, the divorce process does not prevent the other party from making a financial claim after the divorce has been finalised. You will need to obtain a court order with the agreed financial terms.
  • Another option to divorce in the UK is through mediation where you and your spouse will meet with a neutral third party who will oversee discussions and help you resolve disagreements and reach resolutions.
  • If you are not able to reach agreements, the UK courts can help you settle matters, even when your marriage took place overseas. They will help with the division of assets and other finances like pensions. They will also decide on child maintenance arrangements, including when one party doesn’t live in the UK. You do not necessarily need to attend court, for example, if you are in Poland when the application is first made, there may be an option to conduct matters via a Remote hearing. In England and Wales all divorce applications must be submitted in English, and documents such as your marriage certificate should be officially translated.


In all divorce and separation cases, whether you have a connection to Poland, or another country, it is advisable to seek the help and advice from a family lawyer specialising in international divorce cases.


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