Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

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Massachusetts divorce can be complicated by foreign citizenship

More people in Massachusetts and across the country are entering into marriages that include a spouse from a foreign nation. This, one authority notes, has also led to an increase in divorce cases that include such spouses. The multi-national nature of these relationships may lead to complications for a couple as they go through the divorce process in our state.

Divorce is difficult for many couples in Massachusetts. Dividing assets that have been acquired over the years of marriage can cause even the most amicable of divorcing couples to argue. When the property in question is physically in another country, issues such as which country's laws apply may become important.

To avoid having to fight over such property in a divorce, one authority notes that it may benefit an individual to plan for the worst in a marriage, while hoping for the best. This planning may mean creating a detail of each individual piece of property that addresses its ownership. Though not necessary in every case, this type of document could be a benefit if a divorce happens and the ownership or division of the asset is at issue.

Dividing the assets of a marriage is never easy for couples in a divorce in our state. The negotiations can be contentious as each spouse seeks to obtain a beneficial share of the marital estate. When such negotiations are complicated by the citizenship of one spouse and the laws that apply to property owned by such an individual, working to understand all applicable rules may be a good first step for an American spouse considering divorce.

Source: Reuters, "Divorce in two countries is double the trouble," Geoff Williams, Oct. 24, 2012

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