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It is increasingly common for citizens of different countries to marry or for citizens of one country to marry and then move abroad. When such couples seek to get divorced, however, they face challenges that can complicate an already difficult process and make it more expensive and stressful.
Nearly all international divorces raise two key questions. The first is jurisdiction, namely, which courts have authority to make decisions that bind both spouses. The second is choice of law, that is, which country’s laws will govern the divorce.
With respect to jurisdiction, there are situations where a single court has the power to decide all the issues in an international divorce. In other cases, a court in Country A may have jurisdiction to decide only some issues while others must be decided by a court in Country B. Different nations have different rules about jurisdiction. For example, many countries will not exercise jurisdiction over a divorce unless one or both spouses meet certain residency requirements. Other nations might exercise jurisdiction regardless of residency as long as the couple was married in that country. If courts in more than one country potentially have jurisdiction, then the case could proceed along any of several tracks. One possibility, common in Europe, is that jurisdiction will be exercised by a court in the first country where the case is filed. Another possibility is that the case gets filed in two countries and is decided by whichever court rules first.
Choice of law is every bit as important as jurisdiction. Florida divorce law could be much different than the law in Country X, and one of those may be more advantageous to you when it comes to issues like property division, child support, child custody and spousal support. There are situations where a court in Country A has jurisdiction but the court could apply the laws of Country B. Courts decide to apply the law of another country only after a thorough analysis of the situation and persuasive argument by each spouse’s attorney.
Decisions on jurisdiction and choice of law in international divorce cases can take on increased importance due to possible inequities that can result. For example, in some nations, women aren’t afforded the same property rights as men upon divorce. And some countries may hesitate or even refuse to enforce custody, support or asset divisions that is ordered by a court in another nation. These are compelling reasons for consulting with a qualified international divorce lawyer.
Based in Miami, the Law Offices of Lawrence S. Katz is one of South Florida’s preeminent international family law firms. Mr. Katz has decades of experience resolving divorces across borders. Please call 305-670-8656 or contact us online to arrange a consultation.
For many years, Lawrence S. Katz has helped clients in Florida, throughout the United States and abroad. He has earned an excellent worldwide reputation for providing knowledgeable, quality representation in family law matters.
"Attorney Katz has a keen sense for understanding the overall situation and immediately formulating an action plan. He is direct, succinct and effective. I highly recommend Attorney Katz for his experience, integrity and results!" - Vivian
"Mr. Katz is the best divorce lawyer in the Miami area. Very knowledgeable and experienced. We had a difficult case and he delivered impressive result. His assistant Fanny it is a great asset to that office as well." - Georgette
"My case was a complex one and Mr. Katz provided me with a course of action that led to a favorable outcome. He is clearly knowledgeable and experienced but he is also very prompt. He is always available to answer questions via email, Skype or phone. As an overseas client this was very important to me. I would definitely recommend Mr. Katz especially for international divorce and custody cases." - Anonymous
"I am extremely grateful to have had Larry represent me. In International Family Law I would say he has few, if any, equals." - Anonymous
"This divorce lawyer is excellent, charismatic, professional, and cares about the customer. I gave a case to him that it was impossible to solve, and he did solved the problem like it was very simple. He was always in touch and answering all my questions, either by phone or by email." - Manjit