I Got Married in Another Country — Can I Get Divorced Here in Florida?

It is a fact of life that not all marriages last forever, no matter where the wedding takes place. And in today’s world of mobility, many spouses, either together or alone, find themselves in countries different from where they tied the knot.

While living here in Florida, some of them decide that it is time to call it quits and dissolve their marriages. However, there are various rules regarding divorce that may make it impossible for some.

If you were married in a foreign country and would like to explore your options for divorce in Florida, it is important to seek the services of an experienced divorce attorney to ensure that you understand your options and make the correct legal choices.

The answer is that it depends on your circumstances. In some cases, it is quite possible to get a divorce in Florida if you were married in another country. However, many believe that they must file for a divorce in the country in which they were married. But this is not true in every case.

Requirements for Divorce in Florida

The principal requirement for obtaining a divorce in Florida deals with residency. As long as one of the spouses has been a Florida resident for at least six months, a divorce may be granted regardless of whether the marriage took place outside or inside of the United States.

This residency requirement, however, does not apply to residents of the state who regularly live abroad. For example, many travelers from Florida maintain their residency status with the state even though they spend significant periods of time in other countries.

Since they never relinquished their residency, these travelers may be divorced even if they are not in the state at the time of filing.

Division of Property Concerns

During a Florida divorce, marital assets and liabilities are divided up between the two spouses in an equitable fashion. However, in order to accomplish this division of property, the court must have jurisdiction over the property to be divided.

Property located outside of the United States is not within the court’s jurisdiction and thus will not be dealt with during divorce proceedings.

Child Custody Concerns

Regarding children, the court similarly lacks jurisdiction over children who reside outside of the country. However, children who are Florida residents will be dealt with within a Florida dissolution of marriage.

Be aware that problems may arise during the creation of the parenting plan — which is mandatory in divorces that involve children — especially when one of the spouses does not reside or plan on residing in Florida or the United States.

Speak with an Experienced Attorney About Divorcing in Florida When You Were Married in Another Country

At The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm, we can help you navigate the often complex waters of the divorce process and make sure that your interests are preserved. Call today for a free consultation with a divorce lawyer who cares and is ready to listen.