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International Divorce Issues and Considerations 2019-12-13T17:11:24-06:00

International Divorces

By John K. Grubb, Attorney

5005 Riverway Drive, Suite 450
Houston, Texas 77056

Besides the normal divorce issues of grounds for divorce, child custody, property divisions, support, etc., international divorces must address a whole array of additional issues. Here are some points that must be considered in many international divorces:

  • Jurisdiction – Which country has authority to grant the divorce? Can a particular Country and Court grant a divorce, determine custody, determine support, property division, etc., or can it only grant a “status divorce”? A “status divorce” is one where a Court can grant a divorce to a party, but has no authority to decide custody, determine support, divide property, etc.
  • Language Barrier – Many times, one party is not fluent in English, and translation services are necessary.
  • Location of Property – Is all the property located in Texas or is some it located in a different country?
  • Enforcement – Will it be necessary to enforce the decree in another country?
  • Coordination – In some cases, as the divorce progresses, it is necessary to coordinate with attorneys in other countries.
  • International Travel Issues – Trying to coordinate a divorce schedule with people who need to appear in US courts is very difficult. For people who have children, the divorce decree will need to address international travel issues for their children.
  • Service of divorce papers – Can they be served in Texas or is it necessary to serve the other party in a different country pursuant to the Hague Convention on International Service?
  • What law to apply? – Generally in divorces the law of the country (state) where the court is located will apply. However, if the parties signed a prenuptial agreement, then the premarital agreement may spell out which country’s law to be applied.

Each divorce is separate and individualized. However, my general observation is that international divorces are much more complicated and expensive than domestic divorces.

Do you have a question about an international divorce?
If so call and make an appointment with John K. Grubb at 713-877-8800 for an initial consultation.