After a weekend filled with mountain air, ice cream and the inimitable taste of suncream mixed with sand, it was only a matter of time before the Aberdeen heavens opened and brought me back down to earth. With the screen of my laptop illuminated only by the grey sheen of soggy granite, on Mondays like this I can well understand the lure of the ex-pat lifestyle. For Scots, the draw of warmer climes is a well trodden path.

However, living overseas can present challenges. New transport and education systems to navigate, getting into the wrong side of the car, thinking you have negotiated a bargain price only to find you have made a significant error in your currency conversion… With day to day life already somewhat daunting, it is little wonder that the prospect of going through a divorce when abroad can seem like an overwhelming process. The following are points to be considered if facing the prospect of divorcing from overseas.

- Seek advice early on. If you are a Scot living abroad, you may find that there is more than one country with jurisdiction to deal with your divorce. In that event, it is sensible to seek, at an early stage, advice from a lawyer in each of the potential jurisdictions. You may find that one country's legal system may be able to deal with matters more swiftly, whilst another may lead to you achieving a better financial outcome, so it is worth finding that out as soon as possible. 

- Paperwork. Prior to any lawyer's meeting, it may be helpful for you to ingather any useful paperwork. This may include your marriage certificate and the birth certificates of any children, as well as any financial information.

- Don't panic. Tempting though it may be to pack a suitcase and hop on the nearest plane, it is important not to do so until proper legal advice has first been taken. 

- Communicate. If there is one silver lining to Covid-19, it is that it accelerated the pace at which we all became used to dealing with matters remotely. Most lawyers will now be prepared to conduct client meetings via online platforms where required. Some formal documents can be signed remotely and even courts are able to conduct hearings online in certain cases. There ought not to be any barrier to obtaining advice in these circumstances. Most lawyers who deal regularly with international cases will be pleased to accommodate any difficulties with time zone.

As I conclude this blog (two meetings and a cup of tea later, and yes, it is still raining), it should be noted that in the event of a planned move abroad with one's beloved, it is worth considering obtaining advice from a family lawyer prior to the move taking place. This can ease the road for all involved in the event of any future permanent separation or divorce.