International family law generally differs in every country in the world. Within the United Kingdom there are very substantial differences between the law of divorce in Scotland, in England and Wales and in Northern Ireland. This creates particular difficulties in the field of family law because situations frequently arise when more than one country could have jurisdiction to hear a case, whether it be a divorce action (including financial provision), a maintenance claim or an action in relation to the future residence of a child.
Complex regulations and rules have to be applied by each court when determining whether it can hear a case and those rules are different between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom; between Scotland and other countries in the European Union; and between Scotland and countries further afield. It can often be of advantage to a client for an evaluation to be carried out as to the jurisdiction in which a client's case is most likely to be heard favourably. This may influence the course of action which is adopted.
As a result of Gillian Crandles being dual qualified in Scotland and in England and Alasdair Loudon being a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, we are uniquely placed to examine those issues and to advise on the best course of action. We frequently liaise with solicitors who are fellow members of the IAML in other jurisdictions and with a wide range of family law specialist professionals in England with whom we have regular connection. We make use of our office in London to consult with clients whose cases have a Scottish element and where it may be advantageous to use the jurisdiction of the Scottish courts.