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Botwe v Brifa [2021] EWHC 2307 (Fam)

19th August 2021

Judgment: The applicant sought a declaration that she was currently married to the respondent, and brought her application pursuant to the provisions of ss 51 and 55 of the Family Law Act 1986. The parties agreed that they had been married in 2017. The questions included whether the parties had gone through a customary divorce procedure in Ghana, at which neither party was present, as claimed by the husband, and whether that divorce would be recognised here. Cobb J was satisfied that a customary divorce and its registration had taken place in Ghana. However, both parties had been habitually resident in the United Kingdom throughout the year immediately preceding the Ghanaian divorce ceremony (s 46(2)(c) FLA 1986), and so the divorce could not be recognised in England and Wales. The wife was entitled to pursue her petition for divorce in this jurisdiction.