Our world has seen many changes in recent years. One of the starkest changes has been in the area of communication and technology. Through things like the Internet, email, videoconferencing and social media, our ability to contact people over long distances and across national borders has never been greater. Additionally, the ability for the average person to travel internationally has grown exponentially in the past 100 years.
One thing these changes have led to is a general increase in the amount of contact people have with individuals from other countries. In this environment of increased international interactions, marriages between people from different countries have become an increasingly common occurrence. Many complicated issues can arise in connection to such marriages, particularly when such marriages break down.
Divorces, generally, can give rise to many impactful and intricate issues. The complicated nature of divorce can become further amplified when the two divorcing parties are from different countries.
Divorces between individuals from different countries, in addition to being able to give rise to all the typical issues connected to a divorce, can give rise to many of their own unique issues. Some examples of issues that can arise in connection to such a divorce include:
- Jurisdiction issues (What national jurisdiction can/should the divorce be done in?)
- Recognition issues (Will the divorce be recognized in the countries of both of the divorcing parties? What needs to be done to ensure the divorce is recognized in countries other than the one where it is performed?)
- Child custody issues (Which country's child custody laws will determine the child custody arrangement? Do any child custody order/agreement enforcement issues arise?)
One thing that can make such issues particularly complicated is that international law regarding divorce and child custody can be somewhat murky.
Given how complicated cross-border divorces can be, being aware in advance of potential issues and having good sources of advice can be very important when a person who is married to someone who is from a different country is considering a divorce.
Some interesting questions arise in connection to the topic of cross-border marriages and divorces. Will we continue to see an increase in cross-border marriages and divorces in upcoming years? What changes and developments in U.S. and international law regarding cross-border divorce and child custody issues will we see in upcoming years? One wonders what the answers to these questions will turn out to be.
Source: Forbes, "Small World, Big Problem: Divorces Involving Dual Citizenship," Jeff Landers, Jan. 10, 2013