Bridging cultural barriers that can further complicate divorce.
Including multiple languages and disparate legal systems.
The usual challenges of divorce and custody resolution in the United States are compounded when either spouse is a foreign national, or the family has more complex international roots or ongoing ties. FTLF Family Law attorneys have extensive experience addressing some of these unique challenges — including cultural barriers, different languages, and the disparity in laws and legal systems between countries.
Our Family Law attorneys have extensive experience representing foreign nationals and their spouses who live and work in the expanding international community surrounding Washington, D.C., as well as U.S. citizens whose family situations have an international dimension.
Skills for Unique Circumstances, Diverse Needs
We have the depth of experience and background to skillfully handle the full range of legal and cultural intricacies that accompany international family law matters. Listening with care and empathy, we focus on the unique circumstances and priorities of every case. We then work creatively to advance these priorities, ensuring that cultural or language barriers do not get in the way of the best possible outcome.
Cases involving stay-at-home spouses from another country can be especially challenging. Individuals with little knowledge of U.S. laws and culture may feel anxious and isolated when faced with a family crisis far from home.
Our clients include employees and spouses of employees affiliated with:
- The International Monetary Fund
- The World Bank
- The Inter-American Development Bank
- Members of multinational and foreign corporations and agencies
Multi-Lingual Lawyers, a Rich Network of Experts
Our family law attorneys are fluent in Spanish, Hebrew, and Russian. When other languages are involved, we tap our network of professional interpreters. We also often retain independent experts to explain other countries’ laws to judges who are unfamiliar with the relevant country’s legal system.
We have successfully represented:
- A mother living in Kenya who faced custody and child support issues with her U.S. based husband, both at the trial and the appellate level
- A foreign-born World Bank employee with custody, child support, and property issues, resolved through the Collaborative Process
- A foreign-born, stay-at-home spouse of an IMF employee who sought spousal support and a portion of her husband’s IMF retirement benefits
- A DC- based foreign business owner whose matters involved issues of interpretation and enforcement of a prenuptial agreement governed by the laws of a foreign country
- The spouse of a World Bank employee seeking to protect her rights to marital assets located in several European countries
- A bride from India who came to the U.S. through an arranged marriage only to discover she was in an abusive relationship
- A foreign born client with dual citizenship in the U.S. and a Middle Eastern country, whose spouse unilaterally obtained a divorce under Islamic law while proceedings were ongoing in D.C.