1. Mary and Ben are from a EU country which provides generously for wives post-divorce. They have been living in Scotland for a short time for the purpose of Ben's work. On separation, Mary heads back "home" while Ben stays in Scotland due to his employment.
Mary contacts a local lawyer who starts negotiations on financial matters, but who does not appreciate that within the EU, the rules for going to court to get a divorce are "first past the post" . Mary assumes that the rules of her home country will apply for their divorce and finances - it's where they are from, after all. Ben is unsure whether or not that's correct.
Both Mary and Ben need input from international family lawyers who understand the rules about raising proceedings within the EU, and who can properly advise about the pros and cons of starting a divorce action in Scotland or elsewhere. If one of them has already raised divorce proceedings, the other spouse will still need advice from a lawyer who deals frequently with cases involving international elements who knows whether these proceedings can be challenged, the pros and cons of doing so, and the risks and costs involved.
2. Helen and Michael have been married for 10 years. Michael works in the Middle East. He has savings and assets held there. The family home is in the UK, and after some time abroad, Helen has returned to the UK for the benefit of the children's education. The split is not amicable, and Michael has threatened that Helen may end up with very little. He is demanding that the one asset based in the UK (the house) be put on the market. He has also mentioned that he can apply for an Islamic talaq divorce in the Middle East.
Helen needs advice urgently. She needs to know whether it is possible for a non-national to apply for a talaq in that country, what the procedure for this would be, and whether this divorce is one that would be recognised by a court in the UK. If there is a possibility that it would be recognised, she may need to raise proceedings urgently in the UK. If Michael succeeds in obtaining a divorce abroad, Helen may need advice on seeking financial provision in the UK after a foreign divorce. She may also need to seek a protective order preventing sale of the UK house (being the one asset located here) and advice as to how to best obtain disclosure of the remainder of Michael's assets held abroad.
3. Stephane and Inge are originally from France and Sweden, but met while studying English in Edinburgh and decided to stay. They have two young children. Unfortunately the marriage has broken up. Inge is very unhappy, and wants to go "home" to Sweden with the children. Stephane is very much against this, as he fears seeing very little of the children after the move.
Both parties need urgent advice. If Stephane fears Inge may simply go abroad without his agreement, he may want to consider seeking a court order preventing her from doing so o. If Inge insists on returning and Stephane won't agree, she may want to consider seeking a court order allowing her to relocate abroad with the children even without his consent.. Depending on the circumstances, it may be best for both parties to see if they can resolve their dispute by agreement and negotiation, rather than by way of a court hearing.