Your divorce settlement and arrangements for your children could be affected if you or your spouse are connected in any way to another legal jurisdiction such as Papua New Guinea. In particular if you were married there or you or your spouse are nationals of the country but you are seeking a divorce in England, you should consider getting advice from international divorce lawyers before you start the process.

We represent individuals going through divorce all over the world ensuring their position is robustly protected. Recent legislation in Papua New Guinea has gone some way towards balancing the rights of spouses on divorce. There are however significant differences in approach of the courts there and the courts in England and Wales when it comes to deciding issues around divorce. In the UK judges have a wide discretion to ensure the financially weaker spouse is awarded a fair share of marital property.

Here we provide a short introduction to the family law system in Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea’s Divorce And Family Legislation

Customary Marriage and Divorce – Marriages and divorce under local custom remain relatively common in Papua New Guinea. The country’s constitution   (section 9 (f)) formally recognises custom as part of the underlying legal system and customary ways of dealing with divorce, financial claims and child custody are all generally accepted.

Statutory Marriages – The 1963 Matrimonial Causes Act and more recent pieces of legislation don’t apply to the customary marriages we’ve mentioned. Under the legislation men and women both have the same rights to issue a divorce petition that must be based on one if the 14 ‘faults’ listed in the Act. Grounds include adultery, desertion and non-consummation of the marriage.

While men and women had the same formal rights under the 1963 Act, in practise there was a perceived unfairness to women and children in many divorce settlements. Amendments to the Divorce Act in 2018 – according to Papua New Guinea’s Commission on Law Reform – are significant. For example, an innocent party to a divorce may now claim half of marital savings and assets

Advice On Papua New Guinea Divorce

If you or your spouse have a connection to Papua New Guinea it’s important to consider getting advice from an experienced international lawyer before you divorce.  You may wish for example to issue proceedings in the English courts before your spouse starts the divorce process in Papua New Guinea.

At Brookman we represent a wide range of international clients. Even if we have not dealt directly with cases with a Papua New Guinea aspect before, our international experience enables us to provide highly effective legal support on the key international issues in your divorce that could affect the eventual outcome.

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Australia & New Zealand

The scenarios below do not relate to any individual clients of ours but the facts and the outcomes relate to some similar experiences in our practice.

Australian Property

The Scenario

Mr and Mrs B moved to Australia in retirement. They separated and their lawyers there were negotiating a financial settlement. They owned two houses in Australia. Mr B had a substantial pension from the U.K. They also owned a commercial property in England held through an offshore corporation.

Our Solution

We advised Mr B's Australian lawyers as to how a share of his pension could be directed to Mrs B, and how to assess the value of that. We also advised as to whether an Australian order could be effective to deal with the commercial property, and what could be done to effect an agreed settlement if Mrs B gave up any claim to it. Subsequently we obtained "mirror" consent orders in England.

Lost Marriage Certificate

The Scenario

Mrs H is a dual Australian and British national and moved to London six months ago.  Her husband is based in Australia.  Mr and Mrs H were married in Argentina and Mrs H does not have a copy of the Marriage Certificate.  Mrs H is concerned as to what to do.

Our Solution

We first of all tried to locate the Marriage Certificate from Argentina.  However, the authorities had kept no central record of the marriage.  We therefore had to apply on the strength of evidence provided by Mrs H including a photo of the wedding.  We were successful in this application.  The divorce then proceeded.

If you have questions, contact us now, we can help you.

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Talitha offers sound advice, asks the right questions and advises you with what you need to know not just what you want to hear. I have no hesitation in recommending her services.

Sep 2021   Anu Vidyarthi

Henry took the time to go through all the details of my separation thoroughly. He was very clear on what my options were and what I needed to do to have a seamless agreement with my ex. Thank you for all your help!

Aug 2021   Sandeep Cina

Talitha provided a free consultation and could not have been more helpful. Her guidance was pragmatic and she managed my expectations both on costs and the process. Talitha offered practical advice to find a solution that could avoid going to court.

Aug 2021   Richard Doyle

I had an initial chat with Kevin, the senior associate. Extra ordinary talent to convince parties, very intelligent and I was wonderstuck at his brilliant knowledge of family law.

Aug 2021   Mrs. M. Merchant

I have nothing but positive feedback about this firm... Lorraine Imms from Brookman was absolutely brilliant... Her knowledge is exceptional and she has kept me informed through every step... I'd give ten stars if I could!

Jun 2021   Martin Byrne

Myself and my mother had a free video consultation with Mr. Brookman regarding my mother's divorce and were both impressed with his knowledge on divorce matters, professionalism and understanding. Henry then followed up with us with a clear plan of what he suggests we do...

Mar 2021   Bruna Cordeiro Pezzano

I had a consultation with Mr. Brookman and was impressed with his honesty, knowledge and understanding of my situation. He seemed to take a genuine interest in my case, which immediately put me at ease.

Mar 2021   Chichi

Very swift response and concise information. I had a very engaging free consultation with Mr Brookman initially which was informative and professional.

Feb 2021   Garry Ralph

I would like to say my experience with Mr Brookman was an extremely positive experience. His knowledge, advice and compassion put me very much at ease and made a very difficult situation much more bearable.

Feb 2021   Jenny Brock

Very helpful, and honest about my situation even though it wasn’t business for them at this time. Would recommend.

Jan 2021   Natalie Roche

About The Team

We are a specialist divorce and international divorce family law team, advising clients in the United Kingdom (specifically England and Wales) and throughout the world. We have a very people–orientated approach to working with clients. Henry Brookman has practised law for over 45 years, and our team has a wide range of skills and expertise. We are recommended by the Legal 500 and have been awarded the Law Society’s quality mark, Lexcel.

Partner

Henry Brookman

With over 45 years' experience, Henry Brookman is the senior member of the team. He is described by The Legal 500 as ‘shrewd, savvy, sagacious and highly experienced’.

Partner

Talitha Brookman

Talitha is a Partner in the firm and a very experienced practitioner. She has been exclusively practising family law for over 15 years and is a recognised expert in her field.

Partner

Philip Morton

Recommended by The Legal 500, Philip is an expert in all areas of family law, including domestic and international financial disputes, fraud and commercial dispute resolution.

Partner

Natasha Slabas

Expert in all areas of family law, often involving cases that have an international element, including work in relation to financial settlements following divorce.

Partner

Aziz Malik

Aziz is a Partner at the firm and is highly regarded for his expertise on financial matters in divorce and has been recommended by the Legal 500.

Senior Associate

Kirsty Kelleher

Kirsty is a specialist family law solicitor recommended by The Legal 500. An expert in divorce, financial matters, child-related disputes and contentious probate cases.

Senior Associate

Kevin Danagher

Kevin specialises exclusively in family law, advising on all aspects of relationship breakdown, divorce, same sex marriage, marital agreements, and international family cases.

Associate Solicitor

Jennifer Douglas

Jennifer is a talented solicitor, experienced in all elements of family law, including high net worth financial proceedings, Children Act proceedings and financial claims.

Associate Solicitor

Gavin Yeung

Gavin has excellent experience in family law including divorce and financial proceedings and international child abduction proceedings involving Hague Convention countries.

Senior Associate

Pippa Marshall

Pippa’s experience covers all areas of family law including divorce, financial remedies, same sex relationships, pre- and post-nuptial agreements and cohabitee property disputes.

Chartered Legal Executive

Lorraine Imms

With over 20 years' family law experience, Lorraine can advise on divorce, matrimonial finances, cohabitee disputes, nuptial agreements and private children matters.

Office Manager

Lorna Martin

Lorna is our Office Manager who oversees the operations of the firm including providing accounts support as well as secretarial support to the team.

Accounts Manager

Evdokia Dikova

Eva is an AAT qualified accounts manager and holds full AAT membership (MAAT). She gained her degree in financial accounting from the University of Economics in Bulgaria.

Secretary

Victoria Delatouche

Victoria is a highly experienced Legal Secretary and a long-standing member of the team. She provides secretarial support for the office.

Secretary

Michelle Louison

Michelle provides secretarial support to Henry Brookman. A very experienced family law secretary, Michelle has worked in law for over 12 years.

Front of House Manager

Patricia Antonio

Patricia is an experienced secretary and office administrator, handling the calls that come into the office, greeting clients, and managing office presentation.

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