Divorce can be a high-conflict process even when the two divorcing parties both live locally in Houston. However, a divorce can become an even more complicated process when one of the parties lives in another country. International divorce is a legal topic that not all family law attorneys are equipped to manage, and individuals who find themselves confronting this distinct problem should retain counsel that is knowledgeable about its intricacies.
Basis of law for an international divorce
Readers may expect that international divorces are governed by international law, or at least federal law. This is a partially incorrect assumption. Divorces are administered by the laws of the states in which they are filed, regardless of whether one of the parties is living in another country. If one of the parties to the divorce satisfies the residency requirements for filing in Texas, an international divorce may be heard in the courts of the Lone Star State.
However, other laws, international and otherwise, may come into play depending upon the interests of the parties. Property, businesses, and other related legal matters may be subject to other rules, laws, and regulations.
Issues that complicate international divorces
Getting a divorce with one party living overseas can be a challenge, and it can be difficult for the parties to engage in substantive negotiations when they are separated by both time and distance. Issues that may not come up in divorces between local parties may become points of contention between splitting international partners. Some issues that can complicate the international divorce process can involve:
- Relocating from the United States to other countries with shared children;
- Settling the distribution of property that is located overseas; and
- Managing shared business interests for international companies owned by divorcing parties.
There are no set processes for managing international divorces, and readers should not make assumptions about how their cases may move forward based on the outcomes of others. Strong and knowledgeable legal counsel from attorneys who practice international divorce law can make a difference for individuals facing this challenging experience. The contents of this post should not be read as legal advice.