International Divorce [Jurisdiction Issues]

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

Many people today travel the world over, have property in various countries and have vacations homes in tropical settings. In a marriage, one spouse may be one nationality and still be a citizen of a foreign country, have children going to school in a very different country, and one spouse be living and working in a separate country. When this occurs and they are now at the point of divorcing, many things come into play. What country holds the jurisdiction over the divorce, the property, the custody of the children and any alimony or child support payments?

Before a divorce can proceed in these cases, the question of jurisdiction must be explored. You should retain legal counsel that can determine which jurisdictions are available for your divorce regarding the marriage, the personal property, and the real property, custody of the children, child support, and spousal support. Your counsel should understand the conflict of law rules and know what do to if this occurs. They should also be able to guide you on questions such as should you relocate, should you take the children to another country, and should you remove any assets.

There are many factors that your attorney will look at when deciding which jurisdiction is the best for your divorce and these include the grounds for the divorce, if there were any pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements, any businesses that were acquired during the marriage and which country they are in, any pensions or retirement benefits, inheritances, custody laws, etc..

Each country has there own set of laws governing child custody, child support, spousal support, division of property and even the grounds for divorce. Some countries do not allow no fault divorce while some do. According to which country you may be, seeking the custody of your children you may find that they favor fathers over mothers in all cases. Religion can also play a major role in divorce cases. Therefore, in these countries, a spouse that is more religious may be the winner while the other spouse is left out in the cold. Countries also differ considerably on the issue of maintenance and alimony.

Before you begin to decide on which jurisdiction would be in your best interest, you should seek counsel that understand the laws governing each country that you have some type of property in whether your children are going to school there, you have vacation property, or a business. Since, each country may favor one spouse over the other by their sex, their religious behavior, or just their citizenship.

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