Top Rated International Divorce Lawyer
Top Rated International Divorce Lawyer


Experienced International Divorce Lawyer - Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer

Divorce can be one of life’s most challenging experiences, and when it spans across international borders, the complexity intensifies. Legal systems differ from country to country, and an international divorce requires careful navigation through these varying laws to protect your interests and those of your family. At The Law Office of Juan Luciano, our skilled international divorce lawyers provide clear, comprehensive legal support to help you manage the process effectively.

Attorney Juan Luciano is well-versed in the nuances of international family law. His practice is dedicated to guiding clients through the maze of legal procedures and considerations that arise when a marriage dissolves across different jurisdictions. From child custody and support to the distribution of assets, our New York-based divorce lawyers provide the attention and support you need to address these matters thoughtfully and with a thorough understanding of the potential international implications.

Facing an international divorce presents unique challenges, but with the right legal counsel, you can approach the situation with a greater sense of control and direction. The Law Offices of Juan Luciano is here to listen to your needs, offer clear legal options, and provide the support necessary to tackle the process. Reach out to us today to discuss your situation and take the first step toward a resolution that aligns with your and your family’s best interests.

Schedule a consultation by calling (212) 537-5859 or filling out our online form.

What is International Divorce?

International divorce law refers to the legal practices and processes that apply when a couple from different countries decides to dissolve their marriage, or when a couple resides in a different country from where they were married. It encompasses a range of legal issues that arise due to the cross-border element of the marital relationship, including jurisdiction, recognition of divorce decrees, division of assets, custody of children, and spousal support. Divorce law is typically governed by individual countries, each infusing it with its specific cultural, religious, and historical influences. While there is a push towards making the laws uniform in certain areas like Europe, most countries maintain tight control over their policies to fit their societal values. In the U.S., divorce law is determined at the state level. Despite a trend towards greater uniformity across states, driven by federal regulations in areas such as child support and more consistent laws regarding child custody, the authority to alter divorce law still rests with the state legislatures. Because of the complexity inherent in international divorce law, individuals often need to seek the guidance of lawyers who are knowledgeable about not only their country’s laws but also about international legal principles and the laws of the other country involved. These professionals can navigate the often complicated legal landscape to protect their clients’ interests across international borders.

While New York offers both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce, other countries may have different requirements for dissolving a marriage. For instance, some countries require a period of separation, specific grounds such as adultery or abandonment, or even a mutual agreement to divorce. Here’s a list of some common fault-based reasons that can be used as grounds for divorce.

Please keep in mind that not all jurisdictions may recognize all grounds:

  • Adultery: This is one of the most universally acknowledged grounds for fault-based divorce. Adultery occurs when one spouse has a sexual relationship outside the marriage. Proof requirements for adultery can vary; some jurisdictions may require concrete evidence, while others may rely on circumstantial evidence.
  • Desertion: Desertion happens when one spouse willfully abandons the other for a continuous period, typically specified by law, without the agreement of the other spouse and without a reasonable cause.
  • Cruelty: Cruelty, which can be physical or mental, involves one spouse subjecting the other to behavior that makes living together unbearable. This may include violence, abuse, or persistent demeaning conduct.
  • Habitual Drunkenness or Substance Abuse: Regular and excessive use of alcohol or drugs that leads to the breakdown of the marriage can be a fault ground for divorce in many jurisdictions.
  • Imprisonment: In some places, if one spouse is sentenced to a certain number of years in prison, the other spouse may have grounds to file for divorce.
  • Insanity or Mental Illness: Certain jurisdictions allow for divorce if one spouse is legally declared insane or suffers from a serious mental illness for a specified period, and if there is little to no hope of recovery.
  • Domestic Violence: Physical abuse or domestic violence by one spouse against the other or against the children in the family can be grounds for a fault-based divorce.

It’s important to note that while these grounds might be commonly found, the specifics of how they are defined and proved can differ greatly from one jurisdiction to another. Additionally, some countries have moved away from fault-based divorces altogether, offering no-fault divorce options where the couple can end their marriage without the need to prove wrongdoing by either party. This shift is part of a broader trend toward simplifying the divorce process and reducing the potential for conflict and litigation.

Working with a skilled international divorce lawyer is crucial for couples exploring the possibility of or who are currently embroiled in an international divorce case. A skilled attorney can help clarify specific differences in laws between jurisdictions that may impede the case. For necessary legal guidance, contact Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer for a consultation today.

Determining which country’s courts have jurisdiction to proceed with a divorce case is one of the first and most critical steps in an international divorce. Jurisdictional challenges arise when each party to the divorce lives in different countries or when they share assets or children across borders. 

To file for divorce in a particular country, two major criteria must be satisfied:

  • For a divorce to be processed, the country where the filing is made must legally recognize the marriage. While the U.S. tends to accept marriages conducted abroad, the same does not always apply in reverse, particularly with same-sex marriages. A same-sex couple may not be able to get a divorce in a country that does not recognize their marriage as valid. 
  • Additionally, those looking to divorce must fulfill certain residency or connection requirements of the country where they seek to file. The specifics can vary — some nations might insist that at least one person involved is a citizen or a long-term resident. In the U.S., the concept of residency for divorce purposes is determined by each state and is based on how long a person has lived or been present in that state, which is separate from the concept of residency for immigration.

International couples seeking a divorce in New York face specific residency requirements in order for the state’s courts to have jurisdiction. The law mandates that at least one spouse must have been a resident for a minimum of one year if the marriage took place in New York or if the grounds for the divorce arose within the state. Should these criteria not be met, the couple is required to have been residents for no less than two years.

Jurisdiction is a pivotal factor in divorce proceedings as it can influence the outcome in terms of asset division, child custody, and spousal support. Securing jurisdiction in a legal system that best serves an individual’s interests necessitates sophisticated legal strategy and a thorough grasp of the nuances of international divorce law. This is particularly important in the United States where a court’s ability to rule on financial matters hinges not only on one spouse meeting the residency criteria but also on the other spouse having adequate ties to the state. Yet, some states possess the jurisdiction to divide assets within their borders without regard to the non-resident spouse’s state connections.

It is important to strategize and consider the factors that can affect your divorce case when choosing the jurisdiction.

These factors include:

  • The recognition of any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements you may have in place.
  • The extent of financial disclosure demanded by each jurisdiction.
  • The legal grounds for divorce that are accepted in each country.
  • The location and nature of your assets.
  • The logistical aspects of pursuing a divorce in each country, such as residency requirements.
  • The expected duration of the divorce proceedings.
  • The feasibility of implementing and enforcing court orders in each jurisdiction.
  • The anticipated costs, including legal fees, associated with the divorce process.
  • The guidelines and practices for awarding spousal and child support.
  • The approach each country takes to resolve disputes over where the divorce should be filed.
  • The standards for awarding custody and what outcomes you might anticipate.
  • The procedures for dividing assets and the potential results of such divisions.

Given these complexities, international couples must seek legal counsel from attorneys with a significant track record in international divorce law. Such professionals are equipped to tackle the intricacies of jurisdictional issues and the enforcement of international judgments, providing critical support in untangling the challenges faced in these circumstances.

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Legal Representation for International Divorce

When selecting a lawyer for international divorce, it’s essential to choose someone with a deep understanding of both local law and international family law, including experience with cross-border jurisdiction, international asset division, and multi-national child custody. A lawyer’s successful track record in international divorce, familiarity with the specific countries involved, and a robust global legal network are also paramount.

An international divorce lawyer in New York can craft strategies that address the unique aspects of your case, such as identifying the most advantageous jurisdiction and ensuring the enforceability of orders in different countries. These strategies may involve collaboration with foreign legal counsel, leveraging international treaties such as The Hague Convention, and considering alternative dispute resolution methods. The right legal representation is key to confidently and effectively managing the challenges of an international divorce. 

Common Grounds for DivorceDescription
AdulterySexual involvement outside the marriage, with proof requirements varying across jurisdictions.
DesertionWillful abandonment by one spouse for a continuous period without the agreement of the other.
CrueltyBehavior by one spouse making living together unbearable, including physical or mental abuse.
Habitual Drunkenness or Substance AbuseExcessive alcohol or drug use leading to the breakdown of the marriage.
ImprisonmentOne spouse being sentenced to a certain period of imprisonment, providing grounds for divorce.
Insanity or Mental IllnessLegal declaration of insanity or serious mental illness with little hope of recovery for one spouse.
Domestic ViolencePhysical abuse or violence by one spouse against the other or children in the family.

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Can You Divorce in the US if You Married in Another Country?

Yes, you can get a divorce in the United States even if you are married in another country, but this depends on the state where you file. In New York, for instance, you can pursue a divorce as long as specific requirements are met.

In New York, one of the spouses must reside in the state for either one or two years, depending on various factors. Additionally, you need to establish grounds for divorce, such as an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or specific fault-based reasons. This means you must provide a legally acceptable reason for the divorce under New York law.

However, if neither spouse is a U.S. citizen or holds a green card, proving domicile can be challenging. Domicile means having a permanent home in New York and intending to stay there indefinitely. Without establishing a domicile, it might be difficult to invoke state court jurisdiction for divorce. It’s crucial to demonstrate a clear intention to remain in New York, which can be supported by various forms of evidence, such as leases, employment records, or community ties.

Furthermore, navigating the legal complexities of an international divorce can be daunting. Immigration status, international legal considerations, and differences in divorce laws between countries can add layers of complexity. Therefore, it is advisable to seek the assistance of an international divorce attorney to ensure all legal criteria are met and to guide you through the process smoothly.

Financial Implications of International Divorce

An international divorce can have significant financial implications, particularly when it involves the division of assets across borders, complex tax considerations, and the enforcement of support orders in different jurisdictions. A lawyer knowledgeable in international divorce must be adept at navigating these financial complexities to protect their client’s interests. 

The division of assets in an international divorce can be complicated due to the differing laws and regulations on property division from country to country. The Hague Conference on Private International Law offers a framework for member countries—over 80 strong—to manage international legal processes, including aspects of international divorce. This multilateral treaty aims to provide a degree of predictability and uniformity in the rules applied to international legal disputes such as divorce and asset division.

Under the provisions of the Hague Conference, couples going through an international divorce have the option to choose which country’s laws will govern the division of their assets.

The selection can be based on:

  • The nationality of either spouse.
  • The habitual residence (primary residence) of either spouse.
  • The new habitual residence of one spouse, if recently established.

In the event that the spouses cannot reach an agreement on which country’s laws should apply, the default is typically the law of the country where the couple established their first primary residence after getting married. This default rule ensures that there is a clear legal pathway to asset division even when consensus cannot be reached.

The laws governing the division of property can significantly differ from one jurisdiction to another, and the choice of legal framework can have a substantial impact on the outcome of asset division. For instance, some countries may follow community property principles, while others may apply equitable distribution rules or have unique matrimonial property regimes.

In New York, the principle of equitable distribution applies, where marital property is divided fairly, though not always equally. However, different jurisdictions may have varying definitions of marital property and employ different rules for its division. Some countries may adhere to a community property system, which typically splits marital assets 50/50, while others may have unique stipulations based on factors such as the length of marriage or the contributions of each spouse.

An international divorce lawyer must be capable of identifying which assets are subject to division, valuing diverse types of property (including real estate, business interests, and investments), and understanding the impact of foreign laws on these assets. It may also be necessary to work with international forensic accountants and appraisers to accurately assess and divide complex international holdings. Our team at Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer can assist you in every step of your divorce case, protecting your best interests and asserting your rights. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.

International prenuptial agreements can greatly influence the financial settlement in an international divorce. These agreements may be subject to different legal standards abroad, and their enforceability can vary depending on the jurisdiction. A lawyer must examine the provisions of any prenuptial agreement in light of the jurisdiction where enforcement is sought. It’s essential to determine if the agreement was executed according to the legal requirements and whether it is deemed fair and reasonable.

One of the most challenging aspects of an international divorce is the enforcement of child support and alimony orders across international borders. Different countries have varying levels of cooperation and legal mechanisms for enforcement. In cases where the United States has reciprocal agreements with other countries, such as those under the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance, enforcement procedures may be more straightforward. However, without such agreements, enforcement can be more complex and uncertain.

An international divorce lawyer must be skilled in drafting support orders that are more likely to be recognized and enforced in the jurisdiction where the payer resides. Additionally, they should be prepared to work with foreign legal systems and possibly international family law bodies to pursue enforcement measures on behalf of their client.

The financial implications of international divorce are manifold and complex. A seasoned international divorce lawyer must have a comprehensive understanding of the intersection between divorce proceedings and financial regulations in multiple jurisdictions to ensure their client’s financial interests are safeguarded during and after the dissolution of a cross-border marriage. To learn more about how we can help, contact Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer today.

Child Custody and International Divorce

Negotiating child custody arrangements in an international context requires careful consideration of the laws and cultural practices of all countries involved. A lawyer must be equipped to address the legal frameworks governing child custody in both New York and the foreign jurisdiction(s), ensuring that any agreement is enforceable and in the best interests of the child.

When negotiating these arrangements, the focus should be on creating a stable environment for the child, taking into account their educational needs, access to family, and overall well-being. Custody agreements should be detailed and include provisions for visitation, communication, and the logistics of international travel. It’s also important to have contingency plans for potential changes in circumstances, such as a parent’s relocation or changes in the political climate of a foreign country.

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a treaty that seeks to protect children from international abduction by a parent or guardian. International divorce lawyers must be familiar with the Convention’s provisions, as it provides a legal framework for securing the prompt return of a child to their country of habitual residence.

If a child has been wrongfully removed or retained across international borders, the left-behind parent can seek remedy under the Hague Convention, provided both countries involved are signatories. The lawyer must act swiftly to initiate legal proceedings, as the Convention emphasizes the expedited return of the child to avoid legal and psychological harm. Understanding the exceptions to return, such as grave risk to the child, is also crucial for a lawyer advising clients in these situations.

Child custody issues add a layer of complexity that requires not just legal knowledge, but a sensitive and informed approach. A lawyer navigating these waters must have a firm grasp on international agreements like the Hague Convention and be ready to tackle the nuanced negotiations and jurisdictional challenges that are part and parcel of such cases. The paramount goal in any international child custody matter is to prioritize the child’s welfare.

Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer brings a comprehensive understanding of international family law to the table, providing the necessary counsel for parents facing the complications of international child custody. We offer a measured and thoughtful approach to resolving these delicate situations. Contact us today for a consultation.

Recognition and Enforcement of International Divorce Decrees

In New York, a foreign divorce decree generally must be recognized as valid for the parties to remarry or for the decree to have legal effect within the state. Recognition may be granted based on principles of comity, provided that certain criteria are met. These criteria include ensuring that both parties received adequate notice of the proceedings, that the foreign court had proper jurisdiction, and that the decree does not contravene New York public policy.

To validate a foreign divorce decree, the individual seeking recognition must typically present an authenticated copy of the decree. In New York, this may involve obtaining a certified copy with an apostille in accordance with the Hague Apostille Convention or, if the country is not a party to the Convention, through a U.S. consulate or embassy. A lawyer will also need to review the decree to determine whether it is likely to meet the standards for recognition in New York.

Enforcing a foreign divorce decree in New York can pose several challenges. Even if a decree is recognized, issues may arise in enforcing its terms, particularly concerning property division, spousal support, and child custody. If the foreign judgment is not automatically enforceable under New York law, the party seeking enforcement may need to file a lawsuit in New York to have the decree recognized as a judgment of the state.

Moreover, difficulties can occur if the foreign decree involves orders that are inconsistent with New York law, such as different approaches to marital property division or spousal maintenance. There may also be practical challenges in enforcing orders against a party who is now in another jurisdiction or who has assets located abroad.

International divorce can have significant implications for U.S. immigration status, especially for individuals who are in the United States on a visa that is dependent on their marital status to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. A New York lawyer must be cognizant of the immigration consequences of divorce, which can include the potential loss of lawful status and the ability to remain in the country.

If the divorce occurs while immigration applications are pending, such as during the conditional residency period for spouses of U.S. citizens, the foreign national may need to apply for a waiver or face termination of their residency status. It’s also important for a lawyer to advise on how a divorce might affect future immigration applications, including eligibility for citizenship.

When it comes to the recognition and enforcement of international divorce decrees, an attorney must be adept in aligning the outcomes with the requirements of New York and federal laws, which encompass immigration regulations. This complex task demands a lawyer who is not only educated in family law but also well-acquainted with international and immigration law, ensuring a comprehensive approach that upholds the client’s rights and interests.

Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer possesses a deep understanding of these multidisciplinary legal areas to effectively support clients through the intricacies of international divorce. His approach is tailored to address the specific needs of each case, taking into account the multifaceted legal landscape to protect his clients’ rights and the well-being of their families. With his assistance, clients can navigate the process with greater confidence, knowing their international divorce decrees will be handled with professional diligence and attention to detail, keeping their best interests at the forefront.

To schedule a consultation, contact us today at (212) 537-5859.

Protecting Your Rights During International Divorce

International divorce proceedings are uniquely challenging and can significantly affect the parties’ rights, making informed legal advice and representation crucial. Lawyers navigating international divorce must understand the varying laws and protections across jurisdictions, including treaties like the Hague Convention, to effectively manage issues such as child custody.

The process requires a deep analysis of divorce grounds, asset division, support obligations, and custody across the involved countries, along with knowledge of procedural aspects like filing locations, international service processes, and enforcing foreign court orders. In New York, lawyers must also ensure their clients’ rights under state law while handling international legal intricacies.

Marital fraud and asset concealment introduce further complexity, requiring lawyers to collaborate internationally to unearth hidden information, potentially involving forensic specialists. They must also be adept at legal recourse for fraud, which could extend to criminal enforcement.

Domestic violence in international marriages brings significant legal and safety challenges due to jurisdictional complexities, language barriers, and cultural differences. Lawyers supporting such victims need to be culturally sensitive and well-informed about local and international legal protections, including the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which helps battered non-citizens gain independent legal status.

Attorneys must be ready for urgent situations requiring quick legal actions like obtaining protective orders and liaising with international enforcement authorities. They must also be knowledgeable about international child custody laws to safeguard children’s welfare and prevent abduction. Ensuring rights in international divorces demands a lawyer skilled in international law and adept at handling the specific challenges these cases present, ensuring that client safety and rights are at the forefront.

Get Experienced Legal Assistance That Transcends Borders from Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer

If you’re facing the complexities of an international divorce, the legal landscape can seem daunting, with each country’s laws presenting unique challenges and considerations. At this critical juncture, the guidance of a knowledgeable divorce lawyer is not just helpful—it’s essential. Skilled international divorce lawyer Juan Luciano from The Law Offices of Juan Luciano understands the nuances of cross-border divorces and is committed to helping you navigate through this difficult time with a focus on protecting your rights and the best interests of your family.

With Juan Luciano’s experience in handling international divorce cases, you’ll receive informed guidance that considers the intricacies of different legal systems, including jurisdiction issues and the application of international treaties. He provides clear, compassionate legal counsel aimed at addressing your concerns, from custody arrangements to property division, in a way that respects your personal circumstances and the sensitive nature of the process.

As you confront the challenges of dissolving an international marriage, don’t face them alone. Reach out to The Law Offices of Juan Luciano, where you’ll find a committed advocate ready to support you and your family through every step.

Contact us today at (212) 537-5859 to start the conversation and move forward with confidence and clarity in your international divorce proceedings.


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