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Competing Divorce Jurisdictions: England versus Malaysia

Posted by Jeremy Morley | Dec 02, 2014 | 0 Comments

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In a high profile international divorce case a Malaysian court has ruled that it has divorce jurisdiction over the parties even though an English court ruled recently that the English courts have divorce jurisdiction.

The wife had asserted – successfully in England – that she her home is in England, but the court in Malaysia ruled that the “common law principle that the wife's domicile is dependent on her husband continues to apply in Malaysia.”

The English press took pleasure in noting that, in order to prove that she lived primarily in the UK, she had cited as proof the collection of 1,000 pairs of shoes she kept at the couple's "luxurious" £30million Hertfordshire home.

In sharp contrast the Malaysian court focused on the fact that the wealthy husband had always lived in Malaysia, on the (archaic) common law domicile rule and on the fact that the wife was in England only on a renewable six-month visitor's visa. 

The choice of court will likely make a massive difference in the financial outcome of the case.

About the Author

Jeremy Morley

Jeremy D. Morley was admitted to the New York Bar in 1975 and concentrates on international family law. His firm works with clients around the world from its New York office, with a global network of local counsel. Mr. Morley is the author of "International Family Law Practice,...

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