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International Divorce Attorney in Naperville, Illinois

Divorce is never easy, but logistical concerns like living in a separate country from your spouse, or living abroad with your spouse can make it even more difficult. Filing for divorce requires you to follow local law but you also must ensure that your home country will recognize a divorce decree from another country. If you have questions about international divorce and would like to speak with an experienced family attorney, call me today at Emmerth Divorce Law, PLLC in Naperville, Illinois. I’ve dedicated my professional life to helping people get through their divorces as quickly and painlessly as possible, and I’m happy to serve those in Illinois and their spouses living overseas. For my local clients, I can help those throughout the area, including Warrenville, Wheaten, Oak Brook, Hinsdale, Downers Grove, St. Charles, and Geneva, Illinois.

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Common Issues in an International Divorce 

The most straightforward version of a divorce is when both spouses are still residing in the same county or state they were married in, and they can both sign documents and submit them to the local courthouse for approval from a judge. However, when one or both spouses are not living in the United States, divorce proceedings become more difficult—but not impossible—to pursue. This is why most people who need an international divorce find working with a divorce attorney who’s well versed in these laws to be indispensable.  

One of the most common issues that come up with international divorce is that every country has its laws governing how and under what circumstances someone can get divorced. You must first establish which country has jurisdiction to authorize a divorce, and if both countries are authorized to do this then you must decide which country to proceed with. Some countries have certain residency requirements, while others may require that the marriage occurred within their country to issue a divorce. Another issue that might come up is that your marriage must be legally recognized in the country you’re in to seek a divorce. If you’re currently in the U.S., almost all marriages are recognized here, but other countries might have more conservative laws, especially regarding same-sex marriage. 

Determining Where to File 

Many times, couples who are living apart from one another will qualify to get divorced in both countries. If this is the case, you’ll need to decide where you will file. Because laws can differ so much from one country to the next, it’s best to seek the advice of an attorney who can advise you on the pros and cons of each option. There are many issues to be weighed, including what assets the couple has together and where they’re located, whether a prenuptial agreement was signed, the cost of divorce in each country, whether the divorcing couple has children together, and the reason for divorce.   

In cases where each spouse files for divorce in a separate country, the court in the U.S. may or may not decide to hear your case based on a few factors. Some of these include how much of the couple’s joint assets are located in the U.S, whether either spouse is officially living in the U.S., if filing in a foreign country would impose a hardship on one spouse, and if the available evidence is predominantly in the U.S. or the other country.   

Hague Service Convention 

One thing that can make international divorce a bit easier revolves around the Hague Service Convention. This international set of laws brings together over 80 countries and was originally formed to help stop child abduction, but now works to help solve legal issues surrounding marriage and divorce. Essentially, this law allows couples to choose which country they file a divorce in if they can meet one of three requirements: one spouse must be a legal citizen of the country they wish to file in, one spouse must be a permanent resident of that country, or one spouse has started establishing a permanent residency in the country. The only potential complication of this law is that both parties must agree on where to file. If they cannot agree, they must file in the country the couple resided in when they were first married.   

The Hague Service Convention also has rules regarding established spousal and child support. This states that any country that has signed on to the convention must recognize and enforce the other country’s support orders.

International Divorce Attorney Serving Naperville, Illinois

Although my offices are in Naperville, Illinois, I work with clients throughout the region and their spouses who are currently residing overseas. At Emmerth Divorce Law, PLLC, I provide personalized legal service to clients so they can make a decision that best serves their needs. Contact me today to schedule a consultation. I proudly serve clients in Warrenville, Wheaten, Oak Brook, Hinsdale, Downers Grove, St. Charles, and Geneva, Illinois.