When divorcing, individuals must divide assets and, if children are involved, pick how to allocate parental time-sharing. All of this is difficult on its own, but matters may get even more complicated when the divorce occurs internationally.
International divorces occur when one of the spouses is a foreign national, the marriage occurred abroad, one of the spouses owns property abroad, or when treaties or foreign laws may impact parental rights. If you are divorcing with your foreign spouse, click here to know your rights.
What are the challenges faced in international divorce?
Individuals face several challenges with international divorce.
A court must be able to hear a case based on its subject matter and have the power to bind the parties to its decision, whether it is held in the state or anywhere else. There is an opportunity that other countries’ requirements for establishing jurisdiction over specific individuals and subjects vary greatly. Furthermore, several courts may have jurisdiction, leading to a competition between the spouses to choose the most appealing location.
- Choice of law
A court may be required to use the laws of another country even when it is within its jurisdiction to hear the case. For example, several courts in the European Union adopt a cooperative stance and use the laws of the countries where both spouses have recently resided.
- Division of assets
Diverse laws regulate how marital property is split up. Certain countries may have distinctive laws regarding property ownership, while some states may adopt an equal distribution approach. Because of relevant tax regulations and valuation methods, an order splitting assets, even when issued by a court with authority, may be difficult to carry out overseas. Furthermore, prenuptial agreements can protect property from being split in certain nations, such as the United Kingdom, where they are not recognized.
- Child custody
Parental time-sharing, or child custody and visitation, is another layer of complexity. The Hague Convention might be applicable if a parent violates a time-sharing order by taking their kid across international borders. As long as the nation where the kid is being kept is also a signatory, this agreement permits parents to request that their child be brought back to the United States. Parental rights are also safeguarded by US legislation, such as the Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Act.
Contact a lawyer
The lesson is that international divorce entails a complicated fusion of several nations’ legal and legal systems. Hiring an international family lawyer with experience who can thoroughly assess your case and counsel you on the most suitable course of action, considering your situation, is essential. Furthermore, you need a legal firm with the resources required to take all necessary actions to safeguard your rights nationally and internationally.