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Divorcing with dual citizenship

Most of our Las Vegas family law blog readers are well aware that a divorce can be complicated, time- and money-consuming and intensely frustrating – even when both spouses live in the same county, have no children and have little financial assets to divide. So imagine when spouses with dual citizenship, children, homes in different countries and significant assets decide to file for divorce or legal separation. Just thinking about all of the potential issues can make your head spin.

Unfortunately, in our increasingly global world, that is the situation that many couples are finding themselves in today. Through the Internet and the increasing ease of international travel, people are meeting and marrying spouses from other parts of the world, and couples are moving to different countries for work or just for a change of scenery.

This often permits them to acquire dual citizenship or dual nationality, which is when they are legal citizens of two different countries. Dual nationals are required to obey the laws of both of their countries of citizenship, which can make the divorce process very tricky.

One of the most important and potentially-challenging aspects of divorcing with dual citizenship is deciding exactly where to file for divorce. In most cases, this should be done in the country in which you live, regardless of whether it is your home country.

However, depending on the laws of that country, it may be advantageous (if you have the time and money to do so) to research the laws of all countries of which you are a citizen and choose the one that is best for your situation.

Source:, “Small Word, Big Problem: Divorces Involving Dual Citizenship,” Jeff Landers, Jan. 10, 2013

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