Welcome to Fab after Fifty

At Fab after Fifty we are passionate about women over fifty making the best of their lives. There has never been a better time to be 50! We'd love you to join in the conversation. Be Seen. Be Heard. Don’t be invisible. Be Fab after Fifty!

Join Free Today!

Join Our Community Today

Join a community of like-minded women making the second half of life the best half! The Fab after Fifty community is all about informing, sharing and inspiring.

It’s always good to share with friends- old and new, so why not make yourself a cup of coffee or pour a glass of wine and join in the conversation.

Get Started!


Check out our latest style tips and picks to look fabulous over 50!

It’s always good to share with friends- old and new, so why not make yourself a cup of coffee or pour a glass of wine and join in the conversation.


Diet and Fitness

The latest in nutrition and fitness to be healthy over 50!

Diet & Fitness


Tips to look best possible fabulous YOU!



Whether you're setting up a business or looking for employment, make sure you're marketable over 50


The Pitfalls of Living and Divorcing abroad

Article by Joanne Major

Where a couple decide to live abroad, separation and divorce are probably the last things on their minds.  However they are an important consideration for the following reasons:-

• If neither party was born in England but one spouse wishes to file for divorce in the English courts, that spouse must live in England for at least one year prior to petitioning for divorce

• A party who was born in England can petition for divorce in the English courts but they must live in England for at least 6 months prior to petitioning for divorce

These “waiting periods” are likely to cause frustration to a spouse who has relocated or returned to the UK from abroad and wishes to petition for divorce as soon as possible after separation from their spouse.  It is also worth remembering that if your other half remains living abroad he/she may petition for divorce under the jurisdiction of the foreign country before you get the chance to do so in the UK!

What happens if you petition for divorce in a foreign country before returning to the UK?

The recognition of a foreign divorce in England is important for the following reasons:

1. A party cannot remarry in England if the foreign divorced is not recognised.  In these circumstances any remarriage may be declared invalid.

2. A divorce which is not recognised in England can also affect a party’s entitlement to claim welfare benefits upon their return to the UK and can affect claims under the laws of probate.

3. The local law of the divorce may prevent remarriage for a certain period.  Remarriage within this period may prevent the marriage being recognised or even being declared invalid.

4. If the divorce is recognised in England a party cannot make a claim for financial provision in the English Courts unless he/she has:

• taken a good part of the foreign proceedings,
• used local remedies and
• done his/her best to seek reasonable financial provision where the divorce had taken place.
• received no, or no adequate, financial provision in the country in which he/she was divorced. 

So, if you get divorced abroad you must seek financial remedy in that country first and can only look to the English courts for a remedy in the above circumstances.  This can result in financial claims becoming a much longer, drawn out, affair.

Applications to the English courts in such circumstances cannot be used to simply “top up” the financial provision awarded by the foreign courts.  This is an especially important consideration for those who have been divorced in an EU country where financial relief has been awarded, as there is a general perception that it is not possible to seek an order for maintenance in the English Courts when there is already an EU maintenance divorce settlement.

Guest article by Joanne Major of Major Family Law, the Divorce and Family Law Specialists.

Loading Facebook Comments ...


  1. Lisa

    March 24, 2013

    This is a great article thank you! I have a business and life story client who has gone through the ringer in the English courts. I help people to heal their stories and emerge their rightful ones so I get to find out some of their most intimate details. I’m going to take you through the gist of the journey but I tell you this story could be a 10 year TV drama. I share it because I have been around it for so long and still to this day cannot find a single person to shed some intelligent light on the Court system and how it works. Does it work for justice or does it work for something else? It is really hard to see how it works for justice. This person has gone through lawyers who are supposedly specialized or great because of their service and yet NONE of them took his side and yet all in some way opted to say the same story over and over and over again. giving rite to the mother EVEN in these circumstances and giving power to the Court and “how things work around here” rather than standing up for any justice, truth, or honor of the law, family, and just plain common sense. Would love your take on this.

    The story:
    1. He is was born and raised in England. He has a great family who are good citizens. (the stories of this family are beautiful)
    2. She was born and raised in Peru. (deep dark secrets surface later after it is too late YET no one in the Court will consider them)
    3. They have 1 son. (who is caught up in all of this and as you will see – caught up in his mother’s manipulation, lies, deceit, and need for control and money)
    4. They moved to Spain because she wanted to buy a home there.
    5. Once there she was never at home. He raised the son while she was out partying all the time until the son was about 9.
    6. He paid for her to have an apt in Spain (supposedly for a business but she ended up having a man living there who is now her relationship but that she called her “renter” so she could help pay for the business expense.)
    7. She claimed to want to move into that apt so that the son could go to an English school across the street as well. She started to have the son staying with her. She plans a big family trip to the USA (Disneyland) so that they can have family time (she’s currently pregnant with BF’s baby and is not saying a thing but using the opp to get a trip out of this. WITH FRIENDS) He will do what it takes to save marriage and keep family together. So they all go.
    8. They come back and she soon after files for divorce. They decide on shared custody. They also want him to attend school in England as he has plans to move back.
    9. He moves back, she wants him to have her and her new BF move there and possibly stay in his family’s house and for him to pay for her new BF to go to school. (BF is 10 years younger than her) He of course says no, which upsets her.
    10. Son moves to England with him. He goes to Spain on holiday break with her. She never returns the son. International Abduction case ensues. I can’t even tell you all the incredibly ridiculous details that ensue and how much money this costs him.
    11. CAFCASS gets involved. Interviews child and literally puts words into the child’s mouth. Determines that She and her “friend” (BF) are great and that the child misses his friends in Spain so should return. *BF is a convicted drug trafficker who was previously police escorted back to his home country. He sneaks back into Spain via Schagen countries. Living conditions and people going in and out of the house is a WHOLE other story. Meanwhile, father is living back home with parents – they are a reputable family in England. Good, decent people. CAFCASS calls the environment too sterile and not warm. (No home visit or interview of anyone else but the child.)
    12. Child gets sent back to Spain. With shared custody now in force as it was. She never complies so son has not had any proper visitation for 4 years. He has showed up in Spain following every letter of the law and she will be conveniently out of the house when he flies over to pick up the child – nowhere to be found, etc.
    13. She files for child support and alimony payments but loses in court because the entire time they are divorced, she is running up credit through their joint accounts, plus using money from mortgage account which much be in dual names in Spain due to the ownership of the house. (those accounts cannot have her name taken off due to it being tied to the home which is legally how it needed to be set up in Spain – she knows this which is why she wanted to have them buy in Spain – prior to his property was all in his name. She never made any money to contribute to any of this but he has the receipts to show how much money she spent the whole time) She also got sent to the USA to attend school on loan (with her brother) – he paid for both of them to attend school and all their housing and trips back and forth including trips for their mother to visit them from Peru. He also paid for all of her business expenses which she was suppose to become sustainable and pay him back for but never did. In all she owed him far more than the child support and he was in extreme debt due to her.
    14. She now wants son to attend college in England so is happy to have him start having a relationship with him. However, she has really brainwashed the child and the child is growing up in a very bad environment. Son’s FB descriptions “Work for Playboy”, shows pictures of him underage drinking alcohol, hanging out at skate parks in Spain. (this may otherwise be fine except the BF is a skateboarded and he’s the convicted drug trafficker – so one has to wonder what influences he is really subject to)
    15. She’s made trouble with tenants in his home in Spain. Has stolen things from there to furnish her own apartment. They’ve had people leave on her account.
    16. IN ALL OF THIS CHILD CUSTODY HEARINGS ETC, A FRIEND OF HERS COMES FORWARD TO TELL HIM THAT SHE IS SORRY FOR WHAT HAPPENED AND THAT HE SHOULD KNOW THAT SHE’S A BIGAMIST AND WAS MARRIED TO SOMEONE ELSE WHILE MARRIED TO HIM. She helps him to get legal documents from Peru to show that this is true and that her parents were the witnesses at the wedding. He’s paid for her parents to make countless trips to England, USA, and to come with them on family trips etc. He’s also paid for her brother to attend college in the USA. None of them say a thing about her being married. In the first years of them being together she does make several trips back to Peru on his expense and looking back things fall into place for him.
    17. He knew all of this information as did his lawyers during the child abduction and custody hearings. Including the info on the convicted drug trafficker BF. And still she is rewarded the child to live with her to attend school. And she never once sent him to England to see his father during breaks as the agreement said and she gets away with this over and over.
    18. Several times when he is showing up or booked to attend court in Spain, she will pull antics like firing her lawyer at the last minute or not showing up to court. Delays go on forever.
    19. He tries to get his marriage annulled in England (they were married in England) and they tell him that he must overturn his divorce in Spain first. *Q = Is this true? He is doing that now but it takes so much time. years in fact! He wants to get the annulment because she has never worked for anything and has been lying for so many years just for the money. He wants her off the title of the home in Spain so that he can sell it and recoup something for all this accumulated debt that she has caused. Not to mention to be done and dusted with the whole thing.
    20. He’s been told by some very reputable attorney in his own home country that just because she’s a criminal it doesn’t make her a bad parent. What about all the evidence of neglect and immorality? Does that not count for anything?

    Both systems of Court in England and Spain have their ups and downs but it seems the English Courts are so lacking any principle to black and white right or wrong? Since his ordeal, he has come across SO many fathers unjustly removed from their children’s lives and also others who have come to Court to seek justice only for it to backfire on them. The Spanish Court has been more fair in that regard seeing through the mother even if she is Spanish speaking and the father is from England. They seem to show more favor for justice. Although, they are SO slow and nothing ever gets done!

    Is there anything that you see that is missed or that could possibly move this forward quicker so justice can be done? The goal right now for him is to get his annulment and title of his house. Sell it and pay off debt. Annulment needs to be done in England as they were married there. I know this is not how the Court works but I think he should get his annulment based on all the things he has been put through by the English Court – and look at what happened to his son based on their assessment of the situation! His son is now in a dark place and there is no way that would happen if he were living with his father. While living with father he was in martial arts, was being home schooled, had both grand parents, aunts and uncle and cousins around. It was a new environment and the Court felt like since he said he missed his friends and that his mother and her friend are so nice he should go back. Even with knowing all of the above. Really?

    Shed some light please!

    I would like to know if you have any insight or advice for this man who has clearly been wronged. I have worked with him for years on his cases and life story as a business coach to help him regain himself again. Because I’ve helped him to organize information in the form of written word, I know everything in detail and it is really (I have no words) to see this happening and then to hear other people’s stories surface that show the same injustice over and over again.

Add a comment

Skip to toolbar