Laws regarding marriage and divorce vary from state to state and from country to country. When residents of the United States get married in another country, or when a resident of the United States marries a resident of another country, and the married persons then seek a divorce, the potential application of significantly different laws can make the process more difficult and complex. And this is especially true when the spouses separate and live in different countries before seeking a divorce—sometimes taking or keeping the spouses’ children with them.
There are generally no international divorce laws—only the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (an international treaty on the wrongful removal or retention of children)—but divorces in which more than one country’s laws may apply are informally referred to as international divorces.
There may also be differences in the laws of different countries regarding what constitutes a marriage—resulting in a situation when two persons are married under the laws of one country, but not under the laws of another country.
A person in such an international marriage or domestic partnership who believes the relationship may be coming to an end should consult with a family law specialist at the earliest opportunity.