Sunday - Dec 17, 2017

Divorce Under International Family Law


International family law has gained some momentum in the last 100 years or so. Migrating to different countries has become somewhat of a problem in this day and age, where many people, with different cultural and religious backgrounds, do it every day. This presents a predicament for policy makers and citizens alike.

People married in one country have to adhere to the marriage laws of another country when they migrate. If you were looking to migrate to another country, it would bode well for you to make sure that the marriage laws, and more importantly, divorce laws complement those of the home country.

Family law is traditionally very localized in nature in that a specific part of family law passed into an area is only applicable in that jurisdiction.  However, in recent years, primarily through efforts by the United Nations and the Hague Conference on Private International Law, a movement to generalize some aspects of family law across countries, regimes and political structures is gaining momentum.

Divorces are usually recognized as valid across boundaries of nations. However, some laws in some countries prohibit people the validation of a divorce.

Property Division

Property is an issue that most people have to deal with when it comes to divorce. It becomes even more complex when the spouses live in different countries. Generally a couple can pick the law of any nation where either one is a national, the law of a nation where one has an essential habitation, or the law of a nation where one of them has a home.

However, some countries do not adhere to these rules, and in that situation, it is recommended that the spouses read up on the divorce regulation of the country and act accordingly.

Another problem arises when a court does not have jurisdiction over a property in another country. In that case, the court usually orders one of the spouses to give monetary compensation of the property.

Child Custody

There are no international laws pertaining to child custody established as yet. Child abduction is a phenomenon where one of the spouses abducts his/her child and takes him/her to another country. To counteract this, international treaties have been signed between countries, which state that the child should be returned to his primary home if one of the parents abducts the child from that country. This means that the countries will help each other to return the child to the home country.

Concerning child support, there are some treaties that provide some transnational rules. There have been some cases documented where one of the spouses moved residence to another country to dodge child support.

This led to some treaties being signed between countries, which led to the enforcement of child support across regions, meaning that it is compulsory to pay child support wherever one lives. However, as with all international treaties, there are some countries, most of them primarily in Africa that do not adhere to these international rules.

In short, we see that when it comes to divorce in the international arena, it helps to have good information about treaties and conventions regarding international family law.

Jonathan Scott is a law professor at some of the top universities in Scotland. For more of his works on family law, visit http://www.djpsolicitors.com/.