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What happens with dual-nationality custody and divorce?

When a divorce involves a dual citizen, it can become tricky quickly. If there are children involved, it can become a battle to figure out how to share custody or make visitation arrangements. If you own property in either country, that could become a major point of contention.

So, what can you do? When it comes to your property, you have a few options. Sell, and divide any profits you make. Or, keep the properties and rent them, if they're things like homes or apartments. You could also divide your properties up by nation, if you have more than one. Then, each person could have a property in his or her own home country.

If you have children, then this makes divorce harder. It's perhaps not as difficult for a family who lives in New York and Toronto to share time with children on a visitation plan as it would be with one parent in California and another in China, but you can work out a plan that will work effectively. For instance, you might want to have your child stay in your home country for school, then have his or her mother or father take visitation time over summer break. This reduces the overall travel time required of a child torn between countries. Sometimes, if both parents are dual nationals, it's possible to stay in the same country and avoid excessive travel completely.

Remember, where you decide to try your case matters. The U.S. has very different laws than some other countries. Your attorney can help you work to have the divorce handled in the United States as long as it has jurisdiction.

Source: Forbes, "Small World, Big Problem: Divorces Involving Dual Citizenship," Jeff Landers, accessed March 14, 2017

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