Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2020


Increasing mobility, migration, and growing numbers of international couples give rise to a host of family law issues. For instance, when marital partners are citizens of different countries, or live outside the country of which they are citizens, or move between countries, courts must first determine if they have jurisdiction to hear divorce or child custody actions. Given that countries around the world are governed by different legal regimes, such as the common law system, civil codes, religious law, and customary law, choice of law questions also complicate family litigation. This short article addresses the jurisdictional and other conflicts issues that arise when international couples file suit in American courts.