When spouses of different nationalities divorce or when either party has a legal connection to more than one country there is always a question over which country’s law will decide issues around the separation. Brookman advises clients on divorce and family matters under English law and where the marriage may also have a connection with another country, such as Cameroon.

As international family lawyers we regularly act for clients in this situation. Our legal support can extend to clients with links to Cameroon and other African nations, including people resident in the UK who married in Cameroon or UK nationals married to a Cameroonian. Here we examine some of aspects of law in Cameroon that could be relevant to your divorce.

The Family Law System In Cameroon

By way of background it’s worth noting that the legal system of Cameroon derives largely from the French legal system. It is also influenced to a degree by English common law. The laws relating to divorce are set out in the Civil Code, but Cameroon is almost unique in recognising customs of the country – legal cases in many areas may be decided using local custom handed down through the generations. In practice therefore there is a ‘dual’ legal system: Divorce and other family law disputes may often be decided using ‘native law’ in conjunction with the Civil Code.

What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Cameroon?

The Civil Code is slanted toward the rights of the husband. It states that the husband is the ‘head of the household’ and he can decide issues such as the family’s domicile. In addition legislation allows a husband in Cameroon to have up to four wives and gives him more leeway when adultery is alleged or where he needs to prove it for divorce purposes.

Husbands and wives can both initiate divorce proceedings. Courts will grant a divorce where:

  • There is mutual consent
  • One spouse has deserted the other for a period of one year
  • Married life has broken down
  • There is fault on the part if one spouse

In some areas a husband may be granted a divorce under traditional rules without having to provide any reason or justification.

Child Arrangements Following Cameroonian Divorce

The Civil Code states that divorce or separation has no bearing on parental authority – each parent is required to respect the interests of the other as far the child’s upbringing goes. That said, the courts have the power to make orders deviating from this shared responsibility if it’s in the best interests of the child.

Property Division

Before marriage couples may choose to own property jointly or separately and courts will divide property in accordance with the chosen regime at the time of divorce. In some regions elements of English family law and French law may be applied if there is a dispute over property. However these less discriminatory rules are undermined in practice by the fact that Cameroonian women often face pressure to renounce property rights on divorce.

How We Can Help With Your International Divorce

Brookman has extensive knowledge of international legal systems, regularly representing individuals from all over the world. Whilst we haven’t had direct dealings with the legal system in Cameroon our international expertise means we can offer practical advice and support if you are divorcing and you or your spouse is connected in some way to Cameroon.

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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.

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

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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

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Talitha Brookman

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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.

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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 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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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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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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