Divorces are usually complicated and emotional matters which can take significant amounts of time to deal with. Divorces involving foreign nationals can be even more complicated, especially if one of the partners doesn’t have Australian citizenship.
It’s always a good idea to discuss your options with a family lawyer when going through an international divorce. However, I’ve put together a short list of five things that you should absolutely consider before you divorce a foreign national – or indeed, if you’re a foreigner being divorced by an Australian citizen.
- Residency rights
If the spouse that you’re separating from doesn’t have Australian citizenship then you will need to consider their right to live and work in Australia. This is especially important if you have children together, because things can become very complicated when two parents are forced to live in different countries.
In this case, you might be best off speaking to an immigration lawyer to determine whether your former partner will retain their living rights following your divorce. In many cases they will – especially if children are involved – but it’s still important to ask the question.
- Your finances
This is relevant to any divorce, but particularly important when you’re separating from a foreigner. If your former partner is planning on returning to their home country then it’s important to make sure that your finances are in order before they leave, otherwise things can get very complicated.
- Your children
If you have children together then you need to think carefully about how your divorce will affect their situation, especially if your former partner is planning on returning to their home country.
In some cases, you might be forced to go to court to resolve the issue of child custody, but this certainly isn’t the ideal option. Really, you should always attempt to come to a peaceful resolution and organise things between yourselves.
- Foreign law
You also need to consider whether or not your divorce will be recognised by the laws of your spouse’s country. You may need to take some special actions to make sure that it is, otherwise they could have trouble with things like remarrying in the future.
- Separation of assets
It’s also very important to think carefully about how you’re going to separate your assets. When you’re divorcing a foreign national, you need to think about the future, where they are going to live, and what they are going to be doing.
In many cases, you might be forced to sell a lot of your assets so that they can be split evenly, particularly if your former partner is planning on moving back to their birth country.
Divorcing a foreign national is difficult because there are numerous legal considerations to take into account. In this article I’ve outlined a few of the things that you need to keep in mind, but I’d recommend always speaking with a family lawyer before you file for your divorce.