International Divorce & Family Law: Canada & USA
We regularly work on divorce and family law cases involving the USA and Canada. Our advice covers the international divorce process, transatlantic financial issues and children issues where there is an American or Canadian element to a divorce.
We are specialist international divorce lawyers and family solicitors. Over the years we have worked on countless international divorces, including those where consideration of US or Canadian family law has been necessary. This could be because one or both spouses are UK–based but originate from Canada or the USA, or because either husband or wife is living in the US or Canada but have a legal connection to the UK.
If the US courts have authority or jurisdiction to decide issues about your children and finances when you divorce, the eventual outcome will largely be dictated by the particular State in which your divorce case is heard. That’s because individual States – not the federal government – have the power to issue decrees of divorce.
Because the rules about child arrangements, alimony and financial settlements differ considerably from state to state it’s crucial to get advice from a specialist international solicitor. When it comes to divorce laws in the USA, the team at Brookman is well aware of the specific aspects of family law and how they differ from state to state.
Many of the States in the North East in particular follow the common law model similar to England where the courts aim to achieve an ‘equitable distribution’ of property. Many Southern and Western States on the other hand tend to follow the Community of Property rules derived from continental law where courts start off with the presumption that community property should be divided equally between the spouses. We have dealt with cases decided under the community property regime in States like California, Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, Wisconsin Texas, Washinton State, New Mexico as well as States where property is divided equitably, including New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, New Jersey and Florida.
For more information about tax issues, alimony and pensions for US born citizens in the UK, read our page: US tax issues in financial proceedings.
In Canada it’s the federal government that decides matters relating to divorce so, unlike in the USA, the rules about divorce are the same right across the country. Child issues and finance, including spousal support are dealt with by way of so-called corollary relief proceedings. The courts won’t finalise a divorce while corollary relief proceedings are ongoing.
At Brookman we have dealt with matters involving the courts in Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Alberta amongst others.
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