Enforcing Your Divorce Judgment in Another Country

If you are filing for or have obtained a divorce in the U.S., but need to enforce that judgment in another country, you will need an attorney to assist you. It can be very difficult to enforce a judgment abroad. In most foreign countries, the enforcement of a U.S. judgment is subject to local rules. There is no bilateral treaty or international convention that the U.S. is a signatory to that will provide for enforcement of your judgment abroad.

To enforce your judgment in another country, the local court in that country generally evaluates the judgment to determine if the U.S. court had jurisdiction, if the defendant received proper notice of the case, if fraud was involved in any way, and whether the judgment is contrary to the foreign country’s public policy. All four of these steps can create issues with the enforcement of your judgment. It is generally necessary to hire an attorney in the country in which you wish to enforce the judgment, so that it can be moved through the legal system in that country correctly.

If you have obtained a divorce judgment in another country and want to enforce it in the U.S., it is not enforceable by itself. The judgment must be filed with the local court and the court will then decide whether to put the judgment into effect within the jurisdiction.

Whether you are seeking to enforce a judgment in another country or in the U.S., you will need to obtain certified, authenticated, and translated copies that can be used in the enforcement of the judgment. There are complex rules about authentication and the appropriate seals that must be affixed to the documents to make them legally binding.

Call the Sampair Group for assistance with your divorce, custody, or family law case in the Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix areas of Arizona. Our firm is dedicated to representing your interests and obtaining the results you need. Call us today.