What Happens When Divorcing Abroad

No marriage is immune to stress, but sometimes when couples move to another country to live, they find that those issues are exacerbated. So-called expatriates, or expats, may find it increasingly difficult to keep their marriages intact, especially when they cannot rely on their usual systems of support.

In fact, research on expat marriages indicates that the wives and husbands of expat workers often feel less secure in their new surroundings and adrift without a clear purpose. Expats often have intense travel demands and demanding schedules, which can also contribute to a marriage falling apart.

Difficult decisions

Getting a divorce while living abroad can be difficult, especially if one of the parties decides to return to his or her home country. Often, it can be unclear which country has jurisdiction over the divorce. Going through this process under these circumstances may also become expensive because of the distances involved, especially when trying to split assets and property.

Another challenge is resolving custody issues that span international borders. Typically, custody matters fall under the law established by the Hague Convention, which established that children must stay in the country where the dispute originates. However, some countries do not adhere to these provisions. For instance, in Saudi Arabia, custody is awarded to the father as a matter of course.

More thorny issues

In many situations, when a couple divorces, both parties may establish separate bank accounts as an early step. However, some countries don’t allow joint accounts, which means one partner could ostensibly be prevented from accessing shared funds.

Divorce can be a challenging process for anyone, even if the individuals involved are living stateside. If you need sound legal guidance, speak with a skilled Florida divorce attorney at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras.

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