Already difficult issues associated with any divorce, may become even more complex when one of the spouses is a citizen of a foreign country: Is the foreign prenuptial agreement valid? Which marital property regime should apply? Where should you file for divorce? Will the US decision be enforced abroad? … Our advice may prove essential not only to clarify and untangle complex situations but also to bring to light unforeseen solutions.
SPECIFIC DIVORCE ISSUES FOR FOREIGN RESIDENTS
Where at least one spouse is a citizen of a foreign country, the following issues may arise in what might otherwise be a simple divorce case:
Where to file the divorce proceeding? At least one spouse will have the possibility to file for divorce in the United States or abroad. Therefore, foreign law and procedure will have to be considered to determine where it will be most advantageous to file for divorce.
Will a U.S. judgment be valid in the foreign country? Since one of the spouses might return to the foreign country or some marital properties may be located in the foreign country, it will be very important to understand the conditions under which a tribunal in the foreign country will enforce a US divorce decree and any other ancillary decisions.
How to limit the risk of foreign abduction? The foreign dimension will also add complexity to the issue of child custody. Fortunately, the United States, France and most European countries have ratified the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction which brings some certainty to whether a US custody order will be respected by a foreign tribunal.