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international divorce questions

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have experience with being divorced to someone from another country? I have some questions about custody agreements and other logistical issues.

Please PM me or respond on this thread and I'll PM you. Thanks!
post #2 of 11
There is no such thing as an international divorce agreement. It depends on where and when you got married, where you live, where your spouse lives, which citizenships you, your children and husband have, if you have children, if you both have jobs, is there a prenup?

Can you give some more info? Either way, if you have a child, there will be the question of custody and you will have to find an attorney a.s.a.p.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm seeing an attorney with student legal services on Tuesday, so perhaps all these questions will be answered anyways.

We got married in the US 1.5 years ago, live in the US currently, I'm going to file for divorce and then my partner will be moving back to his country (Peru). We have no assets, no shared anything and one kid (almost 3 years old). I'm a US citizen, he's a Peruvian citizen with a US green card (which he will choose to give up once he leaves here; I know that he does have the option of remaining here on his green card, because our marriage was not a 'scam' and we could easily prove that we have made an effort in this relationship and it hasn't worked), our son is US/Peru citizenship. I'm a student, have a part-time job. Partner has no job. No prenup.

My questions revolve around: he wants to leave the country ASAP. I want (and he will be willing to give me) full physical and legal custody of our son, given that he has no plans to return to the US. I think physical custody is a given, but I want to make sure that I will get legal custody as well. Can my partner sign something (a notarized statement?) before he leaves to indicate our agreement? Am I correct in thinking he can leave before the divorce is finalized?

And, right now, child support is virtually impossible to hope for (he has no job and few job prospects in Peru, plus the conversion rate means that he could give me half of his monthly Peruvian salary and it wouldn't cover even a week of daycare): how in the heck are they going to come up with some agreement? I do want the option of getting child support (and he will agree to pay it) in the event that his career takes off and he starts making decent money (for a Peruvian salary) and could at least offer me 100-200$/month. I have a feeling that there is no way to enforce a child support agreement across country lines.
post #4 of 11
Your situation doesn't sound too bad, in case your husband is in agreeance to give you sole custody.
There are actually ways to file for divorce online now (!!!!) but with a child and the custody issues involved you still need to hire an attorney.

As for child support: If he doesn't pay and you don't complain, nobody will really care. You certainly can set something up that gives you sole custody but please do this with an attorney to make sure everything is legally binding. Get some info on future child support claims, also.

Oh, and make sure you have the paperwork for the child's citizenship in Peru, prob dad will have to sign something if he hasn't already. Usually the simplest way is to get a passport for the child as evidence of citizenship.

I am thinking it would really be best to have him remain in the U.S. until the divorce is set up. You'll need his signature to finalize it without having to wait a while. But it sounds like he really wants to leave asap and in a panic (because he doesn't even want to keep his G/C for potential future use).

I wish you all the best!
post #5 of 11
Originally Posted by MetasMom View Post
Your situation doesn't sound too bad, in case your husband is in agreeance to give you sole custody.
I agree. I know lots of people with far stickier situations. You may not feel it right now, but you're actually pretty lucky that he's willing to give up so much.

the one thing I would emphasize is to get some sort of notarized statement that you have sole legal custody of your child. It is really hard to get a new passport, travel, etc. (especially overseas) without the other parent's authorization. At the US consulate here in Holland, you have to have a notarized statement or some legal proof that the other parent isn't involved and that you have sole legal custody just to get a passport renewed. It is also becoming more common for passport control to ask for a statement from the other parent saying that s/he knows that the child is being taken out of the country (if you're traveling alone with your child). If you have some sort of statement/something official, it will make your life *much* easier.

Sorry you're going through this.
post #6 of 11
I'm also sorry you're going through this.

I second the getting a notarized letter from your stbx saying it's OK to get a passport and OK to take your dc out of the country. I had to get both a passport and carry a letter to take ds to Australia after we separated but before he vanished.
post #7 of 11
Also, once you get the passport for your son, please make sure your husband has no access to it. If there is any change of mind, you don't want to be in Peru arguing with a Peruvian judge.

The cost of a good lawyer will be money well spent!
post #8 of 11
I would give up your childs peru citizenship. I would be to afraid of my ex kidnapping my child, that wouldn't work if he were only american. It would be easy getting him out of the country having a passport from peru. If you don't want to do that. I would have the foreign passport locked away at the bank! That is just the paranoia in me!

I went through a divorce here in germany. I had to follow german laws which gave us both custody which sucks because I need permission to have the passports renewed which I thankfully got. I am also stuck here because we both have custody though. I am only allowed to leave the country with permission from my ex! Even for a visit home.

If I were you I would be happy that your husband is willing to give up your son!!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
I spoke with a lawyer from student legal services (free, thankfully) and it sounds like we can hammer out the agreement and present it before a judge, if we have no disagreements.
We actually decided to give things one last shot after I wrote the OP, and are now separated again, and I'm about to cut the cord on this one and say things are over for good. My big fear is that things will get nasty, even though things seem amicable right now.

I am going to put both of my son's passports in the bank where he has no access to them. Peru and the US do work together wrt international kidnapping (Hague convention, I think?) which is good.

Thanks for all the advice, ladies.
post #10 of 11
You know it is really good for you that you are in the states! It will make things easier on you
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by la mamita View Post
think physical custody is a given, but I want to make sure that I will get legal custody as well. Can my partner sign something (a notarized statement?) before he leaves to indicate our agreement?
Best to have a judge establish the sole legal custody with the help of your lawyer. A notarized letter doesn't necessarily hold up in court. i am glad that things are lining up well for your case though. so many mamas have a long, ugly battle before them. my advice is get as much done now while you are amicable. that saves a lot of headache.
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