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International Divorce Law

International divorce is becoming increasingly common. However ignorance of international divorce laws can be frightening when faced with legal complexities. This can result in a number of legal questions about the provisions of international divorce laws, a person's rights and the best course of legal action. Below are answers provided by Experts to some of the most commonly asked questions about international divorce laws.

How is marital property in two countries treated in an international divorce?

Case Details: The couple has marital property both in the USA and in Moscow. Will the courts count the value of the marital property and use that total market value against the wife’s claim for spousal support and pension fund?

If you live in a common law property state, your marital property will usually be divided. If the property falls into separate property, it is the property of the person who owns it. All that the other party is entitled to is a “fair and equitable portion” of your separate property. “Fair and equitable portion” generally means that two-thirds go to the higher wage earning party and one-third to the other, lesser earning party. Community property and debt is everything else that includes income of both parties, gifts from one spouse to the other, all titled and un-titled property that was acquired during marriage. Community property is usually automatically assumed unless proven to be separate property by a party “by a preponderance of the evidence.” Community property and debt is generally split 50/50. So the market value of the property isn't in question. Who the property belongs to is the question.

How and where to file an uncontested international divorce?

Case Details: One spouse lives in Washington and the other is out of the country.

You can file for divorce in Washington even if you don't live there. As long as the Seattle court has jurisdiction over the spouse, you can file for divorce there. Courts allow you to file the paperwork by mail. Also, if the spouse agrees to the divorce, the papers could actually be filed by your spouse. In most case, you will have to eventually make an appearance in Washington, before the divorce is finalized.

How to file and serve divorce papers on a spouse who is in another country?

The easiest way to serve papers on someone who is out of the country is by publication in the court reporter and by mail. You can try to send certified mail as well as regular mail. The clerk of courts will have the necessary forms to serve by publication. The service by publication will allow you to get a divorce but there will be no jurisdiction to enforce any court orders for alimony, etc., until you can have the papers served in the US. Service by publication is used quite frequently in case of international divorces and whenever the overseas spouse cannot be located. International divorce laws can vary depending on the circumstances and the country. It is always best practice is to ask an Expert before acting.

How to file for a divorce while residing in Sweden if you cannot obtain a entry visa into the U.S.?

If you have lived there over a year, you can file for a divorce in Sweden. The first condition in order to be able to file a petition for divorce in a Swedish court is that the Swedish court must actually have jurisdiction to hear the case. That is of course the case where both spouses are Swedish nationals and live in Sweden. But Swedish courts also have jurisdiction in the following cases: where both spouses are Swedish nationals, the petitioner is a Swedish national and is habitually resident in Sweden or has previously been habitually resident in Sweden since he or she reached the age of 18, or the petitioner is not a Swedish national, but has been habitually resident in Sweden for at least one year.

If someone from India just recently became US citizen through naturalization and wants to divorce the spouse still lives in India, should the case be filed in India or the USA?

Divorces between U.S. citizens and foreign nationals are quite common in the U.S. So long as you meet your particular state's residency requirements (generally 6-12 months), you can file your divorce petition here in the U.S., and also be granted a judgment of divorce here. The other alternative is to go to India and file the divorce in India under Indian divorce laws.

In a well-connected, shrinking world, international marriages and divorces are also on the increase. Laws and courts around the world have started recognizing this and are capable of handling international divorce cases. However, that does not always reduce the complication of the case and can result in a many other issues and complications around the visa, immigration, alimony, child support, etc. Uncertainty and questions are natural when faced with the prospect of an international divorce. One way to get quick and affordable answers to your questions is to ask an Expert for an evaluation of your case and legal insights that would help you take informed decisions.

 

 

Ask a Family Lawyer

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9396
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
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4 Family Lawyers are Online Now

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Family Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Ely
Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 8085
Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
LawTalk
Attorney and Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 6424
27+ years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
FiveStarLaw
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6336
25 years of experience helping people like you.

Recent International Divorce Questions

  • Im the only parent on my child birth certificate. And i want

    Im the only parent on my child birth certificate. And i want to move to another state to be with my other two kids. I am taking my son and moving to the other state tk be with my two other girls ... as of now will i get in any trouble for doing so? And how would that work? The reason why my two girls arent living with me at the moment is caused by sexual abuse allegations towards my sons father .....
  • At the beginning of last year I was awarded compensation from va at 100%. I filed a divorc

    At the beginning of last year I was awarded compensation from va at 100%. I filed a divorce later on because marriage was bogus told UCIS. Wife retaliated by making false claims to cps. The kids got removed and I had to get my mother to come to Texas. My mother has pmc of our kids and we got pc. I had to drop the divorce a week prior to the 60 day wait period. I left with the kids because my spouse kept using verbal abuse in front of the kids. Then she called cps again with false claims. The cps showed up and said she made a claim of abuse which got closed out in same day. How do I go about getting an emergency divorce with a protection order because she is just going to play games.
    Do I file in Texas or Georgia?
    I need an emergency divorce.
  • My wife will not stop spending and refuses cancel her credit

    My wife will not stop spending and refuses cancel her credit cards. Unknown to me she has incurred more than $25k in high interest debt in her name. We have 2 small children (5 and 2) and although not abusive and a loving mother she is unable to function with domestic responsibilities (mostly unrelated to childcare). She is addicted to legally prescribed painkillers and has abused alcohol to medicate an anxiety disorder where she has been abusive (mentally and physically only to me). I have asked to her to go to rehabilitation with therapy and psychiatrist and she has not followed through. I need to find the best legal action for my financial future and that of my 2 sons. Sole custody of my children is probably not in their best interest emotionally.
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