Getting a divorce is a difficult and complicated process regardless of the circumstances. Between dealing with the emotions that come with ending a marriage and figuring out what legal hurdles you need to jump through to officially file for divorce, there is a lot going on.
But the process can get even more difficult if you are a citizen of multiple countries. Having dual citizenship can potentially add a few extra steps to ending the marriage or mean that the official divorce will take a bit longer.
However, if you want to ensure your divorce process goes as smoothly as possible, you will want to consider all your options when filing for divorce as a dual citizen.
Why Is Divorce Different for Dual Citizens?
In many ways, filing for divorce as a dual citizen is not much different than if you were only a citizen of the United States that wanted to end a marriage. If both you and your spouse live in the United States, you will be able to file for divorce with your state, just as you would if you did not hold citizenship in another country.
However, having dual citizenship actually can give you more options for filing for divorce, especially if you and your spouse reside in a country that is not the United States. But to take advantage of those potential benefits, you will want to consider what they are and how they can help you.
As a dual citizen, you can more easily move between the countries that you have citizenship in. This means that you can potentially reap the benefits of each country’s laws.
What Are Your First Steps in Filing for Divorce as a Dual Citizen
Before you file your divorce paperwork, you will want to consider the divorce laws of both countries you have citizenship in. It is also recommended to contact a divorce attorney in each of those countries to discuss what the divorce process is like in those areas.
After you fully understand how you would file for divorce in each of those countries and what the divorce process looks like, you will then need to decide which area makes the most sense for you and your situation. This usually includes selecting the country that will make divorce the easiest for you.
However, having dual citizenship does not mean that you automatically get to benefit from the laws of the country. If you are not a resident of the country, you are not actually able to file for divorce in that country.
Filing for Divorce as a Dual Citizen
If you decide that you would like to file for divorce in the country that you live in, you can easily begin filling out and filing the paperwork with your county or state. Once you file the paperwork in the country that you live in, the divorce process will begin and you will not need to take any further steps with the other country that you have citizenship in.
If you decide that the country that you live in is not the country you want to file for divorce in, the process becomes even more complicated. Because you need to be a resident of the country that you file in, you will need to establish residency before you can file in that country. This can be done by moving to the area and living there for a certain amount of time designated by the area.
While you are waiting for your residency to be established, you can file for separation from your spouse.
Once you have established residency, you are able to file for divorce in that country. It does not matter that your spouse does not live in the country that you are filing for divorce in. However, not operating in the same country can make the process even more difficult. If the other country has easier divorce laws, it may still be beneficial to make the move and wait until residency has been established.
If you need legal assistance for your divorce, you should contact an established and reputable divorce attorney in your city. They can help you discover your options and determine which process is right for you.