A divorce case, child custody and visitation case, support enforcement case, or premarital agreement with international components can be daunting. Choose an attorney who has experience handling complex international family law issues. The attorneys at Stiles Ewing Powers have handled international divorce and custody issues in federal and state courts. We have worked with foreign attorneys and advisors to ensure our clients understand the whole picture. We use our experience to ensure we point our clients in the right direction and consider all potential international implications. We advise families on the international aspects of divorce, custody settlements, and litigation to reach durable results that protect their rights. 

Parental Rights and Divorce in International Cases

A child custody or divorce case that crosses international borders can be even more complicated and overwhelming than a domestic child custody case. It is essential to have an attorney experienced in international family law to assess and defend parental rights properly. International family law cases can touch on various state, federal, foreign, and international laws. For example, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty that governs certain aspects of divorce and child custody cases and provides certain judicial remedies in cases where a parent seeks the return of a child who has been wrongfully removed or retained in a foreign country. A court in Virginia will always consider the child’s best interests in deciding custody and visitation; this may not always be the case with foreign courts. If the court finds that it is in the best interests to award custody to a non-citizen spouse (or military or foreign service member living abroad), or if a party would like to move with the children outside of the United States, a parent will need an attorney who can navigate procedural requirements to enforce their rights under the appropriate law. 

Division of Assets Located Abroad

If a divorce case involves property in another country, a client may need to consider additional financial complexities, such as how assets will be valued and divided, what his or her rights are to foreign property, and international and domestic tax consequences. That person will need to locate and value property, assets, and businesses overseas and determine the correct jurisdiction to make arguments about the division of those assets. Requirements and procedures differ according to jurisdiction, so choosing the right jurisdiction is essential. The attorneys at Stiles Ewing Powers work with clients living in the United States or abroad, as well as their foreign attorneys and advisors, to ensure we are accounting for all of these details when advising on the valuation and allocation of assets. 

International Child and Spousal Support Cases 

Another common issue relating to international family law cases is obtaining and enforcing support orders. If a client has a Virginia support order that needs to be enforced in another country, or if he or she needs to enforce a foreign support order in Virginia, following state and federal laws is necessary to enforce the order properly. The attorneys at Stiles Ewing Powers are experienced and help our clients navigate the procedures and laws.

Military Divorces Involving Deployed Spouses

Our representation of clients in divorces and custody cases with international implications includes military families. These families may be navigating the complexities of international custody and visitation cases with a deployed servicemember, division of property located abroad, service of process consistent with the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act, and consideration of military retirement, military disability, and survivor benefits. These issues can affect the court’s determination of child custody and visitation, spousal and child support, and equitable property and debt distribution. 

Division of military retirement, for example, is particularly complex and is currently a disputed topic of litigation. There is presently conflict among different state supreme courts, which is likely heading to the Supreme Court of the United States, including a case originating in Virginia (Yourko v. Yourko). Understanding the complex topic of military retirement and federal versus state law is imperative for the attorney and the divorcing party, whether that party is the servicemember or the spouse. If a client or their spouse has served in the United States armed forces, their divorce may present unique challenges that require an attorney experienced in these specific issues and up to date on current law.

The divorce attorneys at Stiles Ewing Powers regularly handle international divorce and custody cases. We are intimately familiar with state, federal, and international laws governing international divorce, custody, and support issues.  We work with clients in Virginia and overseas to coordinate with counsel and foreign advisors throughout the world as necessary. Contact Stiles Ewing Powers today to meet with an attorney.