International Divorce & Family Law: Malta

As international family lawyers we sometimes act for clients who are getting divorced and who have some legal connection to Malta. One spouse may be from Malta for example or the marriage may have been celebrated there. Alternatively the couple may have resided in Malta during the marriage. Part of our role in situations like this is to highlight aspects of Maltese family law with which our clients may be unfamiliar. These may have a significant bearing on the outcome of the divorce.

Below, we outline some notable aspects of the Maltese family law system.

Maltese Divorce Requirements

The Maltese government legalised divorce as recently as 2011 but the grounds on which couples can seek a divorce in Malta are limited. Most importantly it’s not possible to apply for a Maltese divorce unless, at the time proceedings begin, the couple has been separated for at least four of the previous five years. This is a considerably longer period than that specified in most other countries. Maltese courts will also want to be satisfied that there is no prospect that the couple might reconcile before granting a divorce. Finally all maintenance that is due must be paid before finalisation of a Maltese divorce.

Finances And Maltese Divorce

The default position for property ownership between married couples in Malta is the so-called community assets regime. Essentially this means property acquired during the marriage is owned jointly. It’s divided equally on divorce. Other property is deemed separate. Couples can elect to vary this approach by contract (usually in a pre or post nuptial agreement).

Maintenance Payments In Malta

Divorce doesn’t remove the obligation under Maltese law for one spouse to pay maintenance to the other spouse and to any minor children. The courts will consider a number of factors when deciding what maintenance is due, including the needs of the spouse receiving maintenance and the amount that spouse receives in social security and other benefits.

Some commentators believe that spousal maintenance is becoming more difficult to obtain in Malta because of the increasing number of families where both parents work. They argue that even a spouse in part-time work may struggle to obtain the level of maintenance he or she believes is appropriate.

Getting Advice On Maltese Divorce

If more than one country has jurisdiction to decide your divorce you should get legal advice early on. Usually the spouse who starts proceedings can choose the country where the divorce will be heard.

Given the four year separation requirement for divorce in Malta you may be able to divorce more quickly in the UK if you notify your spouse that you want a divorce here (by serving a UK divorce petition on him or her).  Depending on the circumstances, financial orders in relation to property and maintenance may also look considerably different depending on the country your divorce is decided in.

At Brookman we advise Maltese nationals, UK nationals and individuals with other connections to Malta seeking a UK divorce.

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Divorce Videos

Henry Brookman has created several discussion videos in order to further explain some areas of divorce.

International Divorce

Watch Henry Brookman summarise divorce and common divorce myths.

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

Henry Brookman Discusses: Divorce
Henry Brookman Discusses: Common Divorce Myths

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Gavin Yeung

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

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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.

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Lorraine Imms

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

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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.

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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.

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Victoria Delatouche

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

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Michelle Louison

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

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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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