International divorce in Arizona is a tangled web of complexities, and many attorneys profess to have knowledge in this area without offering any tangible insight.
Uncovering the nuances between domestic Arizona divorces from international divorce in Arizona occurring in other countries can drastically alter your outcome – but unfortunately these details are often overlooked.
To help you navigate an international divorce in Arizona with confidence, we’ve created a series of expert-guided articles dedicated to providing all the information needed for successfully addressing international divorces in Arizona.
An attorney in Arizona must have a comprehensive understanding of the state laws and statutes governing divorce, as well as international treaties such as The Hague Convention Treaty.
Without this knowledge it can be difficult to serve papers or collect evidence abroad for their client’s case – but local courts may only need subject matter jurisdiction over one spouse and any children involved if they comply with Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction amd Enforcement Act regulations.
Personal jurisdiction is required by the Arizona and United States Constitutions pursuant to the Due Process Clase. This means that a person must have sufficient minimum contacts with the State of Arizona to make it fair for him or her to have to defend a divorce in Arizona.
Arizona can obtain personal jurisdiction over a person even if they do not have minimum contacts in Arizona if they are served while visiting the state. However, some countries may not recognize such service as valid and, therefore, not recognize as valid any Arizona divorce orders entered here.
Simultaneous Proceedings in Another Country
When a divorce is simultaneously occurring in Arizona and another country, comity can be enforced by an Arizona court to uphold the foreign-court issued decree.
To do so successfully, it must first be established that due process — such as service of legal documents and proper jurisdiction over both spouse and subject matter — was observed when entailed with issuing said decree.
In other words: validity has its own set of rules!
However, there is a court of appeals decision from the State of New York wherein the appellate court upheld the New York divorce court’s dismissal of a pending divorce because of the entry of a final divorce decree issued in another country based upon comity, collateral estoppel, and res judicata.
One thing you can do to prevent this from happening to you is to seek an injunction from the Arizona court prohibiting the other spouse from proceeding with the litigation in the foreign court.
The Doctrine of Forum Non-Conveniens in International Child Custody Cases
An Arizona court and, perhaps, a foreign country’s divorce court may dismiss one of the competing divorce cases on the theory of Forum Non-Convieniens.
This simply means one of the spouses to the divorce files a motion to discuss that divorce case because another court, such as an Arizona divorce court, provides a more convenient court to litigate the issues in the divorce.
If you have questions about an international divorce in Arizona, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona divorce and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in international divorce and family law cases.
Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.
Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your Arizona divorce or family law case around today.
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