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Family law issues exponentially complex across borders

When a Colorado couple divorces, there are a wide range of issues that must be addressed throughout the process. When a couple contains a spouse that holds dual citizenship, the process can quickly become extremely complex. Family law issues are handled very differently in other countries, and both parties will likely weigh the pros and cons of completing their divorce in all possible locales.

When it comes to determining issues of jurisdiction, the first party to file an action will have an upper hand. That does not mean that the other party cannot challenge the jurisdiction. However, once a divorce or child custody proceeding is in place, it can be difficult to have it moved elsewhere. In addition, parents who fear that their spouse may move the child across borders can gain a measure of legal support by beginning a legal process in America.

The Hague Conference on Private International Law provides guidelines on how to handle international child custody concerns. Parents whose children have been removed to other countries can ask for assistance from the State Department or other governmental agencies. However, the best protection in such cases is to prevent the removal of the child from the outset. One way to do this is to not agree to the issuance of passports for one's child or to ask the court to hold any passports already in existence.

When international family law issues are at the center of a divorce or child custody battle, it is important for parents to secure comprehensive legal knowledge of the family court systems of all possible jurisdictions. If a parent is planning to fight for the return of his or her child to a Colorado court, there are a number of legal steps that must be taken to aid that process. When the legalities involved become complex, making the proper choices can make the difference in securing a successful outcome.

Source: Reuters, "Divorce in two countries is double the trouble," Geoff Williams, Oct. 24, 2012

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Brandon Ceglian's practice focus is family law, landlord-tenant law / real estate, civil litigation, criminal / DUI, and collections. View Attorney Profile

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