As an attorney in Virginia who frequently handles divorce cases for Indian clients, I frequently get a lot of questions about how a divorce will impact them in back home.
Lately, as a result of my Indian origin and my significant familiarity with the culture, I have been getting a lot of referrals from the community regarding divorce cases. The majority of the time, the clients who come to me get married in back home. For a multitude of reasons, the matrimonial relationship unfortunately does not work out, and the parties decide to end the matrimonial relationship.
Some of the reasons for wanting divorce in these cases are:
- Problems with the in-laws
- One spouse sending a lot of money back home
- Domestic violence
When these clients come in to meet with me, often the questions asked are related to how the Process is going to play out in Virginia:
- How will the dissolution impact their families back home
- Whether the wife is going to file a dowry harassment case against the husband’s family? (Full Disclosure – I am not a licensed attorney in India)
- Whether the gifts given to the wife is the property of the husband’s?
- Whether a case u/s 498 A of IPC can be filed against them?
- Could one of the parties take their children back home permanently
- In some cases, can we get the US born child taken back brought back to the US
- What happens to my real property back home?
- What happens to my personal property back home?
- How is jewelry given either prior to or during the time of matrimony treated for purposes of equitable distribution?
- How is money in Rupees located back home distributed during a divorce?
- What is the impact of India not being part of the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction
- What will happen if my spouse files for child custody back home?
In a nutshell, this is not a simple issue to begin with. When clients with international backgrounds are ending their matrimonial relationship, this becomes even more complex. My familiarity with the matrimonial laws back home combined with the fact that I have lawyers back home who work for me and experts in the US who can testify regarding the Hague Convention and the fact that your home country is not a signatory to the Hague Convention, enable me to facilitate the dissolution of marriage case even though there are collateral issues that may be pending back home.
One of the most common examples of this is obtaining service of process when one of the parties has already gone back, possibly with the minor if one was born during the matrimonial relationship. Having the ability to more often than not, obtain personal service in your home country enables a client to initiate dissolution and custody proceeding in VA. Our firm has used a number of private investigators to obtain personal service back home, thus enabling our clients to access the justice system in the home country and simultaneously file legal proceedings here.
Additionally, my familiarity with the culture, not only helps me understand my client’s concern about issues such as a dowry case being filed against them back home or the fact that the other spouse to attempting to make a claim to a gift by the parents solely to one spouse, etc. It also enables me to understand how cultural aspects such as caste, and interreligious matrimonial relationships may cause friction between spouses and in some cases, even how one spouse’s desire to eat non vegetarian foods or consume alcohol may be causing friction in a matrimonial relationship.
Based on my extensive experience as an attorney, it is my belief that your lawyer during what may be some of the most difficult times in your life must be able to truly understand you to represent you.
Also, my experience enables me to not only assist clients of Indian origin with their dissolution of marriage cases and the collateral issues such as equitable distribution, custody and parental kidnapping, etc., but it also helps me assist clients with related issues such a criminal domestic violence charges, civil protective orders and immigration related issues such as cancellation of visas.
If you wish to consult with me, you may contact my office to discuss your case with me in person or by phone. I look forward to helping you.
If you need the help of an Indian divorce lawyer who can guide you with this type of case in Fairfax, Prince William (Manassas), Fauquier (Warrenton), Loudoun (Leesburg), Caroline, Stafford, Spotsylvania (Fredericksburg), Chesterfield, Henrico, Arlington, Richmond, Alexandria call our law firm immediately for help and speak to a Indian divorce lawyer about your options.
Article written by A Sris
These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.