Divorce is a financial and emotional nightmare. However, when international laws are applied, things tend to get even more complicated for foreign nationals and expatriates.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement Reviews
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements play a key role in divorce proceedings. Devised with divorce in mind, these reviews are especially important abroad.
It’s the agreement itself that’s very likely to dictate the exact court that is to be in charge of divorce proceedings and that can hugely simplify the process. However, the level of significance of the agreement varies depending on the country. While in some countries, the prenuptial and postnuptial agreements carry great weight in determining which court will be responsible for divorce proceedings, others are more reliant on other factors.
The Question of Jurisdiction
A prime example of the upsides of being a part of the European Union, the set of rules that apply to divorce proceedings jurisdiction has made things simple for the EU member states, when it comes to divorce proceedings.
Complications arise, however, if the couple that is filing for divorce is living outside the boundaries of the EU and/or are foreign country nationals. In these cases, it’s possible that more than one court is eligible to oversee the case. This depends on the regular place of residence and/or other relation to a country. The actual problem here arises due to the fact that some countries have different laws and regulations.
On another hand, there is a possibility for a party to try and push for the divorce location which will get them a better settlement. Location and the number of children are important factors in determining both the proceedings’ location and the settlement itself.
This is further dependent on the location where the majority of couple’s mutual assets are located and the asset liquidity plays a vital role here.
The Matter of Children
The proceedings abroad tend to get complicated even further, once the matter of children is introduced into the equation.
Divorce is an extremely emotional experiences and, when it comes to their children, parents tend to get overprotective and, without thinking clearly, step out of boundaries of law. The most common issue here is where a parent takes their child or children to the parent’s own home country. This impulsive act can easily turn into a serious criminal offence, bringing along serious allegations such as child abduction, regardless of whether or not a child was willing to be taken by a parent in question.
While Canada is a good example of the ‘equal rights marriage policy’ which the country’s law fully abides by, most countries’ laws state that children are obligated to live with their mother, up to a certain age, which is why the proceedings tend to go smoother, as long as both of the parties agree on important issues (financial or child custody and support-related).
An uncontested divorce in Oregon, for example, is far easier to achieve if both parents agree on the modification of the Child Support Review Process (CSRP). This will likely make the entire proceedings go smoother, as well as quicker.
The reasons to come to an agreement outside of the court, when it comes to divorce, are sometimes heavily related to the harshness of laws in certain states. When you file divorce in California, for example, the wage withholding court order is put into force. It makes the employee of the parent, who doesn’t have the physical custody of the child, responsible for taking the child support out of the employee’s paycheck. This tends to cause further complications, especially in cases where courts of different countries or states are involved.
A well thought-out plan should account for any arrangements for the ‘non-resident’ parent to remain in contact with their children.
Divorce tends to be even more difficult when foreign nationals and expatriates are involved, than it is in regular cases. Naturally, seeking proper legal advice is always a good way to go, especially when a variety of specific and international laws are applied. Mutual agreement is the best way to handle a divorce abroad.