Ask A Divorce Lawyer: International Divorce Trouble

Question: I married and divorced a German woman in Germany. In the meantime we had 3 kids. She was given the right of legal custody over the children. Now we are all living in USA and she is giving me a very hard time with my child visitation rights. Because we are all living separately in the same state, can I take her to court in our state to modify our child custody arrangements?


Answer: If neither of you have done so already, you would need to register the German divorce and custody orders in your state.   A qualified family law attorney can advise you as to the steps involved in registering the judgment.  While you may have interim legal options available to address any immediate issues, you will need to file proceedings to modify the German orders and the registration of the German orders will be required.  If you and your children are residing in the same state, your state will have jurisdiction over your custody issues.




Richard Coffee is a Litigation Manager in the Belleville Illinois office of Cordell & Cordell. He is an experienced divorce attorney whose practice is devoted to domestic litigation. He is licensed in the State of Illinois and is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Courts for Northern, Central and Southern Illinois.

Mr. Coffee has extensive domestic litigation trial experience representing clients in courts throughout Illinois on all aspects of domestic litigation, including the representation of clients who are current or retired military personnel with issues under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, clients involved in state court jurisdictional disputes due to the relocation of one or both parties from or to Illinois, and clients with government or private pension benefit valuation and division issues.

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One comment on “Ask A Divorce Lawyer: International Divorce Trouble

    alimony and child support
    my husband and i were married for 25 yrs. we have 2 children (18 and 16).
    upon divorcing my ex-husband agreed to pay me a total of $25,000 which i have only received half of that. he hasnt paid child support since november.
    my children and i were living in tripoli, libya and recently had to move back to the states. my ex is now living in amman, jordan. he is still refusing to pay us.
    is there anything that i can do to get the money that belongs to us?
    i am having to start all over and that money could really be helpful.

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