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Family law issues becoming increasingly complex

Our society is now in the business of online dating, Facebook and Twitter. With these tools comes more opportunity for dating, marriage and, unfortunately, divorce.

These new avenues of communication have saturated themselves everywhere, including Kent, Rhode Island. As more and more people begin relationships with people from other countries, new legal issues can arise when the relationship ends and divorce proceedings begin. Dual citizenship is a complex legal issue facing those going through a divorce.

A person can be a citizen of two countries simultaneously. If an individual has dual citizenship, they are required to obey the laws of both countries. Dual citizenship allows more couples to move and start their families abroad. However, in an international divorce, the court with jurisdiction over the proceeding is most likely the country where the couple has been residing or spending a significant portion of time.

Family law issues vary greatly from state to state and country to country. The venue of a divorce proceeding can have a significant impact on property division, alimony, child support and custody for either spouse. Issues can also arise as to whether a couple's foreign divorce will even be recognized in the United States. There is currently no treaty that exists between any country and the United States that would secure recognition of foreign divorces.

The emotional and financial stakes could not be higher when dealing with a divorce. Rhode Island residents facing the complexities of dual citizenship and international divorce are encouraged to be aware of all the options and potential consequences before proceeding on their journey.

Source: Forbes, "Small World, Big Problem: Divorces Involving Dual Citizenship," Jeff Landers, Jan. 10, 2013

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