As we live in an increasingly global world, the need for global lawyers also increases. When thinking of global legal issues, most people jump to immigration or criminals trying to escape the country. This type of big events make headlines and inspire talk, but isn’t often what is needed legally on a day-to-day basis.
Contrary to popular belief, marrying a foreigner is a much more drawn-out and complicated process than just getting hitched and a green card shows up. Immigration, visas, and (eventual) citizenship must be handled with care. Communal and individual property must also be designated.
There are a few different options to get your soon-to-be spouse to the States, and all of them involve a lot of paperwork.
The K1 fiancé visa (or CR marriage visa) allows a fiancé to come to the United States and can then apply for a green card. After getting married, the spouse can then apply to adjust their residency to a more permanent status.
If the couple gets married overseas, the foreign spouse must get a nonimmigrant visa to be able to even enter into the United States and then apply to adjust their status to a permanent residence. They can also apply for a different type of non-immigrant visa as a fiancé, get married in the States, and then apply to be a permanent resident.
And that’s not even taking into account if there are children or adoptions involved!
Going through a divorce or dealing and daily struggles of parenting are hard enough, but can be made even more difficult with international families due to differences in family law between countries.
In most divorces, people stay close to their jobs and children. However, in situations that involve international families or international careers, this may not be the case. Relocation can separate families and drastically raise the stakes of custody battles, since the result can mean separating the children by hundreds or thousands of miles – a far cry from just moving across town.
It is up to the court to decide what is in the child’s best interest, but often both parents are able to provide different resources to the child (whether it be financial, emotional, community support, extended family, time, or other resources), and the court only familiarizes itself with the family dynamic in the courtroom. What the court decides is best may be different than what the child or either parent believes it best.
Especially in the case where parents have different long-term visions and dreams for their child, a long, angry court case can be both involved and heartbreaking. On top of that, it doesn’t even begin to address the logistics. How will the child visit the other parent? Who will pay for travel expenses and lodging, if it’s necessary? How will living so far from one parent affect them? What is the political or governmental situation in the international parents’ country, and will it affect the child’s safety? If the child is moving to a country where they are not as proficient in the language, will their education and learning be affected? There is much to consider and more.
For all of these considerations, it is important to hire a lawyer who specializes in family law across borders and understands the nuances of international legal battles.
Thank you for visiting the LOIT and Associates blog, a Mexican business attorney. We write to inform people about real estate and doing business in Mexico.