If you or your spouse is connected in any way to Honduras, you may need to consider certain aspects of Honduran family law when seeking divorce in England. That’s because – even if you have lived in the UK for a substantial period –if you were married in Honduras or were born there for example, you or your spouse may have the right to divorce under Honduran law. As we demonstrate below there’s a big difference in the rules on divorce between the UK and Honduras. This included different approaches to financial settlements and child custody.

The Legal System In Honduras

Like most Latin American countries, Honduras has a civil law system. Unlike the common law system of law in the UK (where the law is developed largely through reliance on previous court decisions), the general law in Honduras is set out in the Civil Code, and the regulations on divorce are contained in the Family Code. As we’ll see the Family Code gives men and women equal rights to apply for divorce, equality when it comes to property division and equal responsibility as regards children. However the UN has reported that in practice women don’t enjoy these equal rights.

Grounds For Divorce In Honduras

Article 238 of the Family Code sets out the grounds for divorce in Honduras. They are:

  • Open, public infidelity on the part of either spouse
  • Physical abuse of one spouse and the children by the other spouse to a degree that makes living together intolerable
  • Attempted murder of one spouse or of the children by the other spouse
  • Two years abandonment of one spouse without just cause
  • Conduct on the part of one spouse likely to corrupt the other spouse or their children;
  • Habitual use of narcotics or other drugs by one of the spouses
  • Unjustified refusal on the part of one of the spouses to fulfil his or her duties of assistance, education and support towards the other spouse or the children
  • Separation for a period of two consecutive years.

Divorce in some cases – for example on the basis of attempted murder – can only be applied for within one year of the petitioning spouse becoming aware of the facts giving rise to the particular ground.

Finances And Children In Honduran Divorce

Article 242 of the Family Code indicates that the divorce decree should contain:

  • Full details of the level of support each spouse must provide to support each other and any children
  • How any common property is to be held in the future
  • What arrangements in terms of parental authority and custody are to be put in place as regards children

Payment of what’s termed ‘alimony’ (effectively spousal maintenance) is linked to the behaviour of the spouses. If the divorce is granted in the basis of the fault of the husband, the wife is entitled to support ‘pending good behaviour’ or until she remarries. A husband who is not at fault in the divorce may be entitled to payments if he is unable to support himself (for as long as he doesn’t remarry).

Getting Advice On Honduran Family Law

At Brookman we represent clients in international divorce cases, covering jurisdictions from across the word. The decision as to which country should have the power to decide your divorce is a complex one, and if you are uncertain about how to proceed to gain your divorce in England you should seek expert advice. Even if we do not have direct experience of Honduran cases, our cross-border experience, built up over decades, means you can rely in us for considered and robust advice on your legal options.

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