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How is international property handled in a divorce case?

These days, the ease of foreign travel and the proliferation of online dating services has given rise to a growing number of marriages between people from San Antonio and partners from different countries. With this rise in international marriages also comes an increase in international divorces. The issues inherent with a standard divorce can already become overly-complex in some cases; add in the potential for disputes that cross international borders, and they become even more so.

Of course, the complexity of an international divorce will depend largely upon the circumstances of each individual couple. If all of their assets are held locally, then typically the standard guidelines regarding issues such as property division will apply. Yet if they hold property or other assets in those countries from which one of the couple came, things can become more complicated.

Even in the event that a Texas court assigns ownership of international property, that ruling will typically not hold jurisdiction in the country that the property is located in. There are international treatises that address manners related to divorce and property division. The Office for U.S. Passports and International Travel lists the Hague Convention on the Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations as chief among them. However, it also goes on to state that United States currently doesn’t follow this convention. Thus, efforts to have local officials enforce it on one’s behalf may not prove fruitful.

It’s recommended instead that one immediately submit all domestic records of his or her divorce to officials in the countries where any international properties are located in order to initiate proceedings to have the results of his or decree recognized there. While this information should not be taken as legal advice, it may prove beneficial to those disputing international property ownership following a divorce. 

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