International Property Division & Divorce Issues

The rise of the Internet and technology have made the possibility of international travel more feasible than ever. Many people choose to get married abroad, seeking romantic getaways as the spot to start their shared life. However, doing so can pose significant problems should the magic end in the future.

We know no one plans to get divorced when planning their wedding. If your marriage took place outside the Vancouver area, you will need experienced guidance if you are now in midst of a divorce. That's where we can help. Westside Family Law has helped families of all backgrounds and nationalities overcome jurisdictional questions during divorce.

Whether you got married in Seattle or Sri Lanka, we can sort out the complexities of cross-border divorce. Located within the busy multinational hub that is Vancouver, we regularly help families in the Lower Mainland who are involved in disputes with international dimensions.

Get Divorced Where You Currently Live, If You Can

According to the Divorce Act, a judge can only grant a divorce to those who have lived within his or her jurisdiction (locale) for at least one year. Therefore, if you separate and move outside the province or the country, it could be difficult to file for divorce later on.

It could also mean that if you recently moved into the Vancouver area from abroad and decide to get divorced, neither of you will have "habitual residence." You could end up waiting six to 12 months to gain it, an inconvenience to say the least.

We recommend getting divorced where you currently live, and not necessarily where you got married (unless you still live there). We know that's not always possible, however. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping you work through these jurisdictional hurdles. We will look at your circumstances in detail and outline your options. Whatever your situation, we're committed to finding the resolution that fits your needs.

Make Sure You Have Your Marriage Certificate

One of the key pieces of documentation required for a divorce in Canada is your marriage certificate. Without it, it will be difficult to prove the marriage actually took place in the eyes of the law, and thus the Court cannot grant your divorce.

Couples who get married internationally often do not think about this important step. Therefore, in order to divorce, they must return to that remote little village where they said their vows to obtain an official marriage record. This can and has happened before.

Save yourself from this expensive (and perhaps impossible) venture by obtaining a copy of your marriage record from the local government agency before you leave. Our firm is well-equipped to help you track down this information, but it could get complicated. Don't worry, though — we will be with you every step of the way, and explore all viable options for you.

Experienced Help For Your International Divorce

For many Vancouver residents, travelling internationally only means taking a quick drive down the coast. Even this simple journey or move could impact your options in divorce. Therefore, take advantage of our experience in handling these tricky issues. Call us at 604-800-8853 or send us an email to get started.