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International marriages and divorce in the United States

| Aug 22, 2014 | Property Division |

With cultural diversity becoming more common in the U.S., divorce may require an international approach. Florida residents may have questions about how divorce in this country affects their marital status in their native country. Property division in the divorce settlement may involve assets they own as a couple in another country. Whether those assets are able to be divided in Florida and be subject to division elsewhere may be complicated.

A couple legally married in another country may divorce in the U.S., provided that the court that handles their divorce has jurisdiction over such matters. Jurisdiction over such issues varies depending on the state. In Florida, one of the parties to a divorce must live within the state for a period of six months before they are able to file. Having a valid divorce decree in the U.S. may not void the marriage in some countries. It might be a good idea to consult with an attorney who may provide clarification on such issues.

Assets are another matter. Like any other divorced couple in this country, property is divided in a well-defined process specific to each state. However, asset ownership in other countries may not be known, and even if it is divided in a divorce decree issued in the U.S., the transfer of ownership from one party to another may not be enforceable on assets held outside the country. Dividing assets there may require a decision by a foreign court.

Custody, visitation and child support issues agreed to in the divorce may be problematic if the couple is still considered married in a foreign country. An attorney experienced in divorce law may provide insight into divorces complicated by foreign-held assets and marriages originating outside the U.S.

Source: Tribune Pinecrest, “Dealing with immigration and divorce in the United States“, Carlos Blanco, August 18, 2014

Source: Tribune Pinecrest, “Dealing with immigration and divorce in the United States“, Carlos Blanco, August 18, 2014

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