With the ever-expanding global economy, it is not uncommon for a married couple to reside in more than one country. If an international couple decides to end their marriage, which country has jurisdiction over a divorce action often becomes a point of contention. In a recent New York case in which the parties disputed whether Thailand or New York was the proper forum to proceed with a divorce, the court discussed the standard for enjoining a party from proceeding with a divorce action in a foreign court. If you or your spouse intend to seek a divorce internationally, it is prudent to speak with a trusted New York divorce attorney regarding what measures you can take to protect your rights.
Facts of the Case
Allegedly, the husband and the wife married in Thailand in March of 2012. They signed a prenuptial agreement on the same day as their marriage. The wife was a citizen of Thailand and Canada, and an overseas citizen of India, while the husband was a citizen of the United States. The couple resided in Thailand for five years and then moved to New York. Ultimately, there was a breakdown of the marriage. The wife filed a Hague petition seeking a declaration that the couple’s son was a resident of Thailand but ultimately conceded that New York had jurisdiction over child custody and support matters. The wife then filed a divorce petition in Thailand in August 2019.
It is reported that in October 2019, the husband filed a divorce action in New York, seeking, in part, a declaration that the prenuptial agreement was unenforceable. The husband also filed a motion in February 2020, seeking an order prohibiting the wife from proceeding with the Thai divorce action.