We live in a global economy where international travel is easier than ever before. The Internet also affords us the options to easily and quickly connect with someone living in another country. Due to this, more and more people are falling in love and marrying residents of other countries. Of course, for many couples this totally works. However, for others — when one spouse wants to get a divorce — the entire process can become quite tricky, even more so when children are involved and there is dual citizenship between any of the family members.
For example, let’s say a Missouri man marries a woman from another country, like France or Germany. The Missouri man ends up moving to France and the two proceed to have three children together. Years later the Missouri man realizes the marriage is not working out and decides he wants to ask for divorce.
In this type of scenario, the first thing to do is to contact a family law attorney. This is important to do any time a father is thinking of asking for a divorce, but even more so important when international law is involved.
Part of the issue, when children are involved, is that unlike in divorce situations where the parents continue to live in the same area and can normally work something out that is fair to the parents and children, in international divorce one parent could end up living in a totally different country after the divorce.
Outside of child custody issues, laws regarding property division, alimony and all other aspects of divorce range from country to country.
In the end, the advice is that whether the marriage happened in the U.S. or another country, when international laws and dual citizenship is involved contact a family law attorney before proceeding with a divorce.
Source: Forbes, “Small World, Big Problem: Divorces Involving Dual Citizenship,” Jeff Landers, Jan. 10, 2013