The Solicitor - The FindLaw UK Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Family law: UK becoming the 'divorce capital of the world'

The UK is gaining a reputation for being a top destination for high-profile divorces. This has been bolstered by British courts awarding rich men's wives very generous settlements in high-profile divorce cases.

An increasing number of foreign nationals have been coming to Britain to settle their divorce disputes, even though they have little connection with this country.

The Russian tycoon Ilva Golubovich and his ex-wife Elena embarked on a "bitter and unruly" divorce case at courts in London, which resulted in more than £2.25 million in legal costs.

While Mr Golubovich sought a decree nisi in Russia, his wife wanted to secure a larger settlement by bringing the case to Britain. She was awarded £2.8 million.

Mr Golubovich's lawyer claimed the case would make Britain the "divorce capital of the world".

Another case, brought to the Supreme Court, involved a Nigerian woman who managed to increase her original divorce settlement tenfold to £275,000.

A senior family judge recently claimed that "obtaining a divorce is easier than getting a driving licence."

Sir Paul Coleridge said: "It's a form-filling exercise and you'll get your divorce in six weeks if everyone agrees.

"In about 1950 you weren't allowed in the royal enclosure at Ascot if you were divorced. That now would exclude half the Royal Family."

According to the National Statistics in 2007, England and Wales had the fourth highest rate of divorce worldwide.


Sir Coleridge claimed that people need to "re-educate" themselves about the need to have stable relationships in order to improve society as a whole.

Related links:
Read more on this story (The Telegraph)
Read some common questions about deciding to divorce (FindLaw)
Find local family solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)