The Effects of a Criminal Conviction on Divorce Proceedings

Divorce proceedings can be complex enough when it is dissentious and involves one or both spouses having a criminal conviction. Add to the mix the fact that the dissolution has international implications, and it is one big headache all around.

Divorce in the U.S. is common enough. In fact, about half of all marriages end in divorce. But a criminal conviction can complicate matters when it comes to child custody, property division, and financial support. It is best to avoid a criminal conviction as much as possible not only for its effects on divorce proceedings but on a person’s life in general. The more violent or serious the crime, the more effort should be made to aim for a dismissal or reduced charges. The assistance of a Wisconsin criminal lawyer can increase the likelihood of a person’s criminal charges being reduced.

But an international divorce is something else altogether. Although most countries have legalized divorce (save for the Vatican and the Philippines), the laws governing them differ from country to country. Child custody, property division, and financial support will differ, as will the enforcement. Depending on the nationality of the spouses, where they were married, where they lived and worked, where they applied for divorce, and the circumstances of their family life will all have a significant impact on the divorce, and that is not including the ramifications of a criminal conviction on the ability of a spouse to participate in the process of an international divorce.

It is a given that the divorce lawyer should be competent and experienced in the state where the divorce was applied to protect the interests of the client to the full extent of the applicable laws. However, it takes a whole different set of skills and competencies for a lawyer to represent a client in an international divorce. For example, it would be difficult to divide property when one or both spouses have property or business interests in another country with different divorce laws. The lawyer has to be familiar not only with U.S. laws but also international laws governing cross-cultural marriages and their dissolution.


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