Divorce and Dual CitizenshipApril 19th, 2014 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on Divorce and Dual Citizenship
We all have that friend who went on a cruise and came back claiming she’d met the love of her life. Sure, we thought, I’ve heard that one before. And two years later, she’s flying across the Canadian border to solidify her right to live in Canada. It happens—more and more in this digital age, actually, that people from different countries meet and fall in love and get married. They apply for and are granted dual citizenship as well—but what happens when these relationships go south?
First, it is important to understand dual citizenship. According to the U.S. Department of State, a person can belong to two countries at one time. It occurs naturally (a baby born to parents with parents of two nationalities) and by choice (marriage). Dual citizens are required to obey the laws of both countries to which they belong.
In cases of divorce, things can seem confusing. If you’re living abroad, even with dual citizenship, you’ll need to pursue divorce in the country where you live. For women, this can potentially present a challenge and make getting a divorce very difficult. Most of the time, however, it is the necessary course of action, which doesn’t mean you’re without options. If you’re able, consider moving back to the country that most favors your rights.
Another common question for dual citizens considering divorce is legality once back in the United States. In most cases, a divorce filed in the country you are residing in is also legal in the US. Though there is no treaty between the US and other countries ensuring that divorces are recognized, you shouldn’t have a problem if you filed in the country you were living in while you were both living there. If you have questions, your Attorney General should be able to guide you through a few things to ensure legality.
While simple divorces (those without real estate or children) don’t require a lawyer in many states, it is probably helpful to enlist the help of an attorney in cases of dual citizenship. If you’re going through a divorce abroad, you will find a lawyer who knows the rules of the country very useful. They should also have a familiarity with laws in the United States.