I don’t know about you, but I saw an enormous amount of British culture over the weekend -- mostly in my news feeds. The opinions of my friends varied on the royal wedding, although it seems like America stopped to indulge in a Disney-like celebration of a common girl wedding her prince. While I’m sure this couple will be full of bliss for many years to come, international marriages can lead to international divorces, and international divorces are tricky.
Hopefully, if you’ve moved overseas and are planning to marry, you have listened to the more practical of your friends and relations and arranged for pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. Should anything happen to the relationship, these agreements help to legally break down finances. It depends on the country, and the ties to the country you are living in or might be moving to in the near future, but these agreements help to determine the court and the laws that need to be applied should a divorce occur.
Another aspect to tuck away, just in case, is whether or not the country is within the EU. The simple version is this: the country where your divorce could take place also determines jurisdiction. You might have options.
Aside from finances, this is the big one. Children change everything, especially in a divorce. Are you moving from one country to another and taking the children? Crossing those lines on the map can make a huge difference in international divorce. Do not move the children across any boundaries without consulting an expert. Not only are you causing potential emotional harm, but if you don’t proceed through the proper legal channels, you could be charged with abduction. Be sure you know your rights and limitations.
There’s a reason why we are fascinated by celebrity weddings and divorces: People who seem removed from our reality suddenly become players in our mortal realm, and that’s nice to know. While we cannot relate to the majesty and history of a royal wedding, we can relate to the love and commitment of a bride and groom. We can also relate to the pain of a breakup, and all that is common to the human condition. During these times, the law and tradition can be an anchor. If you have found your prince or princess across international boundaries, congrats, but take practical steps to ensuring your future (and your possible children’s future) by arming yourself with information.
Congrats to the royal couple, and congrats to all of the mortals out there enjoying the wedding season.