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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 09-28-2013, 09:27 AM
InternationalDivorce InternationalDivorce is offline
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I am trying to figure out which direction to take with an international divorce. My husband and I have been married for over 25 years with three children. We had a traditional marriage living in another country, he worked outside the home and I managed the household and children. He is not a citizen of Canada nor does he reside here. The children and I moved back to Canada a few years ago with my husband visiting regularly but I decided recently to ask for a divorce. Since that time he has blatantly lied concerning family assets which are owned in his country of residency and which years ago he put in his name only, purportedly as a tax write-off. I am currently unemployed, having been supported by his income over the years. He has typically managed the household funds alongside the business funds and seems to want to dictate any financial support that he may offer.



With the idea of balancing expenses with optimal outcome, I am wondering if I should hire a lawyer and register the divorce in the courts here in Canada and attempt to proceed with a potentially expensive collaborative approach of divorce to work out a fair division of property. The laws in his country are barely enforced and I don't know that anything the courts decide here in Canada can be enforced in that country, so it seems like throwing good money after bad. Would I be better off requesting an uncontested divorce and attempting to negotiate with him personally, perhaps through a mediator, concerning finances?

He shows little interest in the children, but has agreed verbally to pay child support. If he becomes irritated by the divorce proceedings and I have not registered the divorce in the courts here in Canada, could he, simply as an act of revenge, register in Trinidad and force the kids to be returned to him there?
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:37 AM
takeontheworld takeontheworld is offline
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As I am in the same situation as you except for the fact that my ex is canadian but non res, be prepared to get royally screwed. Nothing is enforcable. Stuff is super easy to hide. While I dont regret my decision, it will not be an easy road for you. Just be prepared to walk away with nothing. I apologize for being so negative, I simply want you to be on your game with your eyes wide open.
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:43 AM
takeontheworld takeontheworld is offline
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Where is he located? Some countries have no agreement with canada. My ex also verbally agreed to pay cs however he never did.

I would go the cheapest route if I were you. In any access discussion seriously consider making it clear that he can not leave canada with your children. There is also a list dfait maintains to make sure there are no children with him as he leaves canada.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:03 AM
InternationalDivorce InternationalDivorce is offline
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May I ask how far into your divorce you are? When you say be prepared to be "royally screwed" is that based on your own experiences so far or have you gathered information from others who have completed the process. If nothing can be enforced, would I be better off attempting the least expensive divorce possible, keep relations with my ex on an even keel, and attempt to reason with him? Since he appears willing at this point to negotiate with me, without a potentially argumentative lawyer being introduced into the fold, perhaps I should attempt to negotiate a lump sum amount and just move on. My guess is that any regular support payments we negotiate and sign to on paper could be stopped at any time with no way to enforce them. I don't want to feel as though I have to pander to his good will for years to come in order to continue to receive support payments.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:04 AM
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You would file in the jurisdiction where the children reside. Regardless of where the divorce is 'registered', unless he applies for and obtains custody of the children, he cannot simply pack them up and move them to Trinidad - legally.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:37 AM
takeontheworld takeontheworld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InternationalDivorce View Post
May I ask how far into your divorce you are? When you say be prepared to be "royally screwed" is that based on your own experiences so far or have you gathered information from others who have completed the process. If nothing can be enforced, would I be better off attempting the least expensive divorce possible, keep relations with my ex on an even keel, and attempt to reason with him? Since he appears willing at this point to negotiate with me, without a potentially argumentative lawyer being introduced into the fold, perhaps I should attempt to negotiate a lump sum amount and just move on. My guess is that any regular support payments we negotiate and sign to on paper could be stopped at any time with no way to enforce them. I don't want to feel as though I have to pander to his good will for years to come in order to continue to receive support payments.
I speak from my own experience. I filed for divorce 3 years ago. It was severed and granted last year. We have our trial next month. I initally spent 17k on a lawyer and I realized it was pointless and am now self repping.
If I were you I would try to negotiate with him. If he backs out of yiyr ageeement atleast you know you havent spent money on a lawyer and still got nothing out of it.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:15 PM
takeontheworld takeontheworld is offline
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You are welcome to pm me if you wish. I find its impossible to always talk freely here as people are too suspicious.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:44 PM
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My understanding, from information I looked up for another poster a couple of years ago, is that you may not get a divorce in Canada if you married in another country and lived there.

To get a divorce in Canada there must be some substantial connection to Canada within the marriage. That is, if you married in Iceland and then moved to Canada for 12 years you could divorce here. If you married in Iceland and stayed there, and just came to Canada on your own, you may not file for a Canadian divorce.

The issue of child support may be different, of course. If the children are Canadian residents, you may attempt to file for support. It then depends on agreements between countries as to how enforcable it is.

My understanding is that you must file for divorce in the "home" country, that is, the country where you were married.
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:14 PM
InternationalDivorce InternationalDivorce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkandimgone View Post
You would file in the jurisdiction where the children reside. Regardless of where the divorce is 'registered', unless he applies for and obtains custody of the children, he cannot simply pack them up and move them to Trinidad - legally.
The proviso at the end of your comment is what concerns me... "legally". After having experienced living in another country with the minimum of law enforcement, I have little faith in what the legal system might do for me if a situation arose.

Perhaps with international divorce, attempting to maintain good relations with your ex during and after divorce proceedings takes priority over trying to reach equitable division of property. Without good communications with your ex everything else could potentially come crashing down.

In reference to country of marriage, thank goodness we were married in Canada and I don't need to worry about that.
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