What You Need to Know About Divorce & Dual Citizenship

Dual citizenship occurs when an individual is considered a citizen of two countries, simultaneously. This can occur through birth, marriage, or even when certain countries don’t require a person to renounce their former citizenship to apply for citizenship in the new country. Dual citizenship can also introduce another layer of complexity to the already complex process of divorce.

Dual Citizenship & Divorce Issues

There are a number of factors that can be complicated by an international divorce, including child custody, finances, and jurisdictions.

Child Custody

Child custody decisions can vary widely, depending on the country the divorce is being sought in. Some countries’ judicial systems may favor the mother over the father to award custody to. American courts tend to consider fathers equally in custody decisions, and many American parents share custody of their children.

Property Division

The division of a couple’s marital property can be more difficult when the divorce may involve property in multiple countries. Often, jurisdiction can become an issue in property disputes during an international divorce.

Immigration & Citizenship

Many people gain citizenship or immigrate to a new country through marriage. It is possible that a divorce may cause one spouse to lose their citizenship or immigrant status. This can cause significant issues for the immigrant spouse, who may lose their career and home.


The country the divorce is handled in can greatly affect the outcome of the divorce, and foreign divorces may not be recognized by some U.S. states. Frequently, a divorce involving a dual citizen will involve multiple countries and multiple sets of laws. Typically, jurisdiction is determined by where the couple is living. In countries that favor the rights of men over the rights of women, it is possible that the terms of the divorce will be unfair.

International divorce cases can be complex, but our team of San Diego divorce attorneys can help you ensure that you receive fair treatment during your divorce. At Family Law San Diego, we understand the stress you are facing, and we offer personalized, compassionate, and experienced legal service to our clients.

Contact our offices today to start your case. Request a consultation with our team.