Can I file for divorce proceedings in US if divorce proceedings have already started in another country?
Can I file it in US if he has already filed in US? Which of the two will be enforceable, given I will move back to India after divorce.
1 attorney answer
In general, the first country or state in which a divorce proceeding is filed has priority over any subsequent filing. Thus, your Husband's case in India would have priority over any case you filed in California. but the same basic issues arise any time there are two cases pending on the same issues between the same parties, whether the two courts are in different counties in the same state, different states in the same country or in different countries.
It is perfectly legal to start a second proceeding and then file a motion in the first court to transfer venue of the case to the second court where there is strong evidence that second court is a better forum to address the issues in the case. For example, if substantially all of the parties property' in your case is located in CA, then it can readily be argued that the the court in India should transfer the property issues to the CA court.
Enforcement of an Indian judgment in CA or vice-versa is not always certain. A court in one country does not have the power to make orders directly affecting ownership in or rights regarding property located in a different country. Support and custody orders generally are enforceable, but there are situations in which they can be challenged in the second country.
This is a complicated area in which attorneys can be of great help. Ideally, you will make your decision after talking about the pros and cons of filing in CA vs. India, given that you intend to move back to India, with attorneys in both jurisdictions. Certainly don't just make your decision based on what I have said here.
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