A divorce in Virginia is different in a lot of ways from a divorce in India. Lately, as a result of my Indian origin and my significant familiarity with the Indian culture, I have been getting a lot of referrals from the community regarding divorce cases. The majority of the time, the Indian clients who come to me for help get married back home. For a multitude of reasons, the marriage unfortunately does not work out, and the parties decide to get a divorce.
Some of the reasons for getting a 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 divorce will play out in court or via settlement negotiations:
- How will the div. impact their families in their home country?
- Whether the wife is going to file a dowry act 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 498 A case can be filed against them?
- Could one of the parties take their children back permanently? In some cases, can we get the child born here taken back to your home country brought back to this country
- 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 wedding treated for purposes of equitable distribution?
- How is money in Rupees located back home distributed during a dissolution?
- What is the impact of India not being a part of the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction
- What will happen if my spouse files for child custody back home?
In a nutshell, a div. is not a simple issue to begin with. When clients with international backgrounds are ending their wedlock, this becomes even more complex. My familiarity with the family laws back home combined with the fact that I have lawyers in your country who work for me and experts in the US who can testify regarding the Hague Convention and the fact that India is not a signatory to the Hague Convention, enable me to facilitate the dissolution even though there are collateral issues that may be pending back home. 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 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 inter-religious weddings 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 married life.
Another aspect of getting married back home and getting divorced here are:
You have child(ren) born here as a result of a wedlock that took place back home. You are here on an H1B or a green card and your spouse wants to take the child(ren) back home. You have two options, let your spouse take the child(ren) back to your home country or you can fight to keep them in this country. The Ch.(ren) were born here. This is their home state for purposes of Ch. custody. The Ch.(ren) are citizens of this country. The courts are going to favor the Ch.ren staying here. So how do you resolve this Ch. custody dispute? Talk to an attorney as to what your options are before things get messy and your spouse takes the Ch.(ren) back home. We have client meeting location in Fairfax, one of the reasons why you came to this country is to ensure that your Ch.(ren) have more opportunities. This is especially true for Indian clients who live in counties such as Fairfax County and Loudoun County. Do not let your Ch.(ren) be taken back without your consent. There are steps an experienced attorney can take to help you. One step an aggressive attorney can take is to ensure that the Ch.’s passport is removed from the possession of the parent who is contemplating or threatening to take the Ch. back.
Keep in mind that India is not part of the Hague Convention as it relates to custody. If the Ch. is taken back, it may be near impossible to get your Ch. back to this country. This is especially true for fathers who try to get their children born here back. It is critical that your attorney understand the laws back home and the cultural bias involved in cases regarding children. We have client meeting locations in Fairfax County and Loudoun. Speak to an experienced family law attorney if you are dealing with a wedlock in India and custody case in the US. Make sure the attorney you hire for your case has an in depth knowledge of how the laws work and the Indian laws as it pertains to this issue.
If you need help 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 lawyer about your options. B