Is a children custody agreement between spouses made outside the U.S. during marriage bounding in USA in case of divorce?

Asked over 1 year ago - Flushing, NY

Me and my spouse were married outside the U.S. a few years ago. We have small children. My spouse is a citizen of another country. The country of spouse's citizenship is the country of our marriage. Also, my spouse recently became a permanent resident of the U.S.. In a few weeks we planning to visit a country of my spouse citizenship (that is the country of our marriage). Our relationship is not perfect. If we decide to enter into agreement regarding custody of children in case of divorce, will that agreement be bounding even if it is executed outside the U.S.? What are basic requirements for such agreement made outside the U.S.? I prefer to execute such agreement outside the U.S. because outside the U.S. my spouse is usually more cooperating.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Jayson Lutzky

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is best to have an agreement drafted by experienced lawyers where you live, than an agreement from out of the country. If you both reside here, then NY has jurisdiction over you. If the children are here for more than 6 months, than NY has jurisdiction over the children. An out of the country agreement may be valid, however it is not necessarily likely that lawyers from another country will know the requirements for an agreement to be valid here. If you are thinking about a divorce, then you would probably want the agreement to be prepared by NY lawyers.

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  2. David Alexander Browde

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Where the agreement is executed is not particularly important. What it says and how it is witnessed are important.

    You should consult an attorney prior to entering into any such agreement, both because you will want the agreement to be valid and to protect your position with regard to issues such as child support.

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  3. Howard A. Schwartz

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is no definitive answer to your question. The order may or may not be accepted by the court which presides over the divorce. It would certainly carry more weight if you went to family court and had an order signed by a family court judge. You also need to consider visitation and child support. Good luck.

    I have been a criminal attorney in New York for almost 25 years. website: Brooklynlaw.net Phone #: 718-208-6094... more
  4. Morghan L Richardson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with the other lawyers. I'd also note that generally if you want a contract enforced here in the US you need to be careful how it is witnessed in another country. You could always have an agreement so ordered by a judge here in New York. You should consult with a lawyer too about the ramifications of residency and the Hague Convention. Good luck.

  5. Marco Caviglia

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The other attorneys all raise good points. If you have an agreement notarized in a foreign country, and it is challenged as to authenticity here, you will have to get an apostille as part of the litigation, which is very inconvenient.

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Related Topics

Divorce

Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Child Custody in a Divorce

Child custody may be physical or legal. Physical custody covers who the child lives with, and legal custody is the right to make decisions.

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