Dissolving a marriage becomes more complicated when divorcing spouses live in other countries, especially if the couple has children.
When this applies to you, it’s critical to work with a divorce attorney with considerable experience in divorce, child custody, and visitation across international borders.
Freed Marcroft’s West Hartford international divorce and custody lawyers can anticipate the problems that might complicate the proceeding.
Advantages of Filing for Divorce in Connecticut
You don’t need to be a citizen of the United States to obtain a divorce here. Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-44 says you can get divorced in Connecticut if at least one spouse lived in the state for twelve months before your divorce is final. You may also file for divorce here if you were married in Connecticut and one of you currently resides here, or if the grounds for divorce arose after you moved to the state. Freed Marcroft’s team of experienced West Hartford international divorce attorneys can assist you with jurisdictional questions for your specific circumstances and goals.
Sometimes, Connecticut is a more favorable jurisdiction for child custody, parenting time, and decision-making authority after a divorce. It’s key to meet with an attorney with deep international custody experience to help figure out the best strategy for you. Connecticut is an equitable distribution state, meaning couples must divide their marital property fairly, but not necessarily equally. Divorce courts can consider everything a couple owns when they file for divorce as marital property. A spouse who claims sole possession of certain property must convincing the court that they should retain more or all of that property.
Depending on your goals and the country you or your spouse lives in, Connecticut may be a more advantageous jurisdiction to hear a divorce. A West Hartford international divorce attorney can consult with you and research the applicable laws in the other country to determine the best place to file. We also advise on how to handle international property like a home or business.
Divorce Could Raise Immigration Issues
When one or both spouses are citizens of other countries, immigration concerns could complicate a divorce. If your spouse is in the United States on an employment or other visa that allows them to bring their family, a divorce could force you to leave the country. It gets even more complicated if you’re an undocumented immigrant with no means to gain lawful resident status.
If you have children born in the United States, the children are citizens and may remain in the country. However, if one of you must return to your country, child custody arrangements can become contentious. Depending on the parent’s country of origin, arranging for a child to travel back and forth for visitation may be impractical or even impossible. These important issues deserve a high level of experienced lawyering.
Our West Hartford attorneys know the ins and outs of international divorce and custody law, and can anticipate complications before they arise. Critically, we can connect you with an immigration attorney who can assist with immigration-specific concerns.
Protecting Against Child Abduction to a Foreign Country
Spouses involved in international divorce often raise concerns about child abduction. Custody agreements and parenting plans could include precise expectations and safeguards to ensure a child isn’t illegally kept out of the U.S.
The Hague Convention provides a mechanism to return abducted children to their custodial parent. However, many countries have not adopted this agreement so this safety mechanism wouldn’t apply to countries outside of the 90+ signatories.
Fortunately, some non-signatories still have child abduction agreements with the United States. An international child custody attorney in West Hartford can research and explain whether an international agreement exists to enforce a custody order.
Put Your Trust in a West Hartford International Divorce Attorney
As citizens or residents of another country, some couples require the services of an attorney experienced in handling international family law. This situation raises a host of issues that may be difficult for attorneys who only work in domestic cases.
Our West Hartford international divorce and custody lawyers provide competent and compassionate representation. Schedule an initial meeting to discuss the next steps.