Joy M. Feinberg Answers:
Today, thousands of Americans live, work, and marry folks from all over the globe. You will ask:
– If I get divorced, what country will hear my case?
– Whose laws will apply?
– What protections will I have as an American?
– Can I bring my partner or spouse back to the USA?
– Can I bring our children back to the USA?
– Are their different tax laws that apply to me when I live and work overseas?
The answers to these questions are very complicated and should be discussed, at length, with a divorce lawyer and a tax lawyer well versed in international family law. As an executive with an international corporation, your employer may provide you with access to immigration lawyers and CPA’s well-versed in International Tax law. Your family lawyer should have contacts around the world to assist with identifying issues and giving you the best possible advice in advance of any issue arising.
Please, before you leave this great country of ours to live elsewhere, get yourself the best advice about what laws will apply to you. American theories of family law are not universal. Your family law professional can guide you to the safest possible result available to you wherever you may go in this world.
And identify in writing your and your partner/spouse’s intentions when relocating to another country. Is this temporary? Is this intended as permanent?
Look for two things in your divorce attorney:
a. Are they active in the International Academy of Family Lawyers – not just a member – but actively involved in this organization of principled, excellent attorneys? I know this because I am a past president of the USA Chapter of this organization.
b. Does your lawyer have contacts to provide advice to you from colleagues in the country you are moving to? Having such information will be of great benefit to you.
The best you can do is to be prepared in advance of any situation – especially one as complex as international family law.