A divorcing couple with links to the UK and to Mali should consider carefully how to approach the legal process. The outcome in relation to finances, property and child arrangements could differ markedly depending on which courts determine the case. We are a firm of international divorce solicitors with the ability to represent individuals with connections to Mali who are considering divorce under English law. Perhaps you had a marriage ceremony in Mali for example, or you or your spouse may be from the country originally but now reside in the UK. Here we briefly examine some aspects of Malian family law that could be relevant to your divorce.

Getting Married And Divorced In Mali

Under the Malian Family Code, 2011 women have the same rights as men to enter marriage. Since the adoption of the Code religious marriages are subject to the same formalities when it comes to registration and dissolution as civil unions.  That said there is a general acknowledgment that certain aspects of the Family Code do discriminate against women, for example differing minimum ages to legally get married and the ability of men to enter polygamous marriages.

Indeed in 2018 the African Court on Human and People’s Rights found that the Family Code in Mali violated international human rights laws on several fronts, including rights to inheritance and the requirement of consent to marry.

Grounds For Divorce In Mali

Grounds for divorce in Mali include:

  • Mutual consent (after six months of marriage and only after there has been an attempt at mediation)
  • Breakdown in marital relations if there has been three years’ separation or one spouse is unable to perform his or her conjugal duties’
  • The fault of a spouse

Reasons to divorce on the basis of fault include:

  • Adultery
  • Verbal or physical abuse that makes marital life impossible
  • Imprisonment of one spouse
  • Alcoholism or drug addiction

A wife may also petition for divorce if her husband has failed to provide her with ‘essential needs’. It’s also worth pointing out that following a divorce, the woman can’t remarry for at least three months. No such restriction applies to divorced men in Mali.

Property Division And Child Custody In Mali

On divorce, wives have a right to alimony or maintenance to compensate for the emotional and/or financial loss that results from the end of the marriage. As for custody of children, this is normally granted to the spouse who obtains the divorce unless it is in the child’s interests to grant custody to someone else. Parents will continue to have equal rights and obligations for the education and well-being of children depending on their income. They will normally benefit from equal visitation rights irrespective of which parent has custody of children following the divorce.

Getting Advice

At Brookman we work with individuals going through English divorce who are based in, or have connections to, locations throughout the world. Some aspects of Malian family law mean a settlement decided by the courts is likely to differ significantly compared to a settlement ordered by a judge in the UK for example.  Given our decades of experience in international family law and our familiarity with a range of legal systems we are well-placed to provide you with practical legal advice – even if we have not directly handled divorce with a Malian angle previously.

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

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Henry Brookman Discusses: Divorce
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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.

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.

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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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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 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 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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