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How Do International marriages end?


I came across this interesting divorce case of international marriage. In international relationships, the spouses can file the divorce application in any country they are connected to. Whether it is the country they are born in, the country they usually reside, the country where they married or the country where the properties are invested. As long as one or both the spouses have some kind of connection with a country, they can apply for divorce and settlements in that country.

This makes, the international divorce cases quite lengthy, and alarming. Since the international family laws vary from country to country, a spouse can appeal for divorce and settlements in the country where he/she has better chances of gaining more, in terms of child custody, property settlements etc.

Here, a wife has filed the divorce case in Costa Rica and husband has filed the case in Australia.

The family courts see the relevance, practicality, jurisdiction and convenience to each spouse. On these grounds, the court of the country decides whether it should proceed with hearing the divorce case or not.

In the above case, the court found that Australian family court would not be an appropriate forum for this case and refused the application.

For the Australian courts to take up the divorce cases of marriages that have happened outside Australia, these below mentioned circumstances must hold good and have to be proven in the court.

  1. One or both the spouses are living in Australia
  2. One or both the spouses are Australian citizens
  3. One or both the spouses must be generally residing in Australia
  4. One or both the spouses consider Australia, their home and intend to live here indefinitely
  5. One or both the spouses must have lived in Australia at least one year immediately before filing the divorce case.

If anyone or more reasons are found to be true, the Australian courts can consider the divorce filing, irrespective of in which country marriage has taken place.

However simple the above pointer sound, it is hard sometimes to prove them in courts.

You may need a divorce lawyer who is trained in Australia international family law to guide you on what right you must file divorce application in that country.

It is advisable to know, which country makes swift divorce settlements. In Australia, the couple should have been separated for at least 12 months before filing for divorce and must prove it in court. If the couple cannot prove, the divorce case is refused by the court.

Along with divorce, the over the border marriage and divorce also need to sort properties out of Australia and child custody and parenting orders.

If a parent takes a child out of the country, without the other parent’s consent, it is a criminal offence. Such matters are brought to Hague Convention.

So, it’s not just two persons breaking out of their relationship, but a whole lot of other things that deal with other country’s rules and regulations.

Consult a divorce lawyer to understand your situation in terms of legal implications, before deciding where to file the divorce.


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