How Biden’s New Immigration Policies Could Impact International Divorces

Posted by Josh Valentine | Mar 17, 2021

Newly elected President Joe Biden has promised significant changes in the area of immigration law under his presidency. Many of Biden's stances on immigration are in direct conflict with the most recent four years under the Trump administration. Under President Biden's plan to welcome and embrace immigrants, the potential for increased immigration will also likely include increased international divorces.

Biden's Immigration Proposal

President Biden has backed a sweeping immigration bill called the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, aiming to modernize the U.S. immigration system. Some of the proposals in this plan that can impact international divorces include:

  • Raising the yearly cap of employment-based immigrants
  • Granting permanent residence to individuals who have had an immigration petition for 10 years
  • Raising the yearly cap of diversity green cards
  • Granting permanent residence to international students with PhDs from U.S. universities

While this bill is yet to be acted on by Congress, the intention of the Biden administration is clear. President Biden aims to make the U.S. immigration system more efficient and friendly to immigrants. As our country becomes an even bigger melting pot, legal issues such as divorce and cross borders increase.

When an International Divorce is Appropriate

Most divorces involving U.S. citizens stay entirely within U.S. borders as couples don't typically have a reason to seek an international divorce. There are a few specific reasons why a couple may want or need to file a divorce internationally. Some of the most common reasons for filing an international divorce include:

  • You live in another country
  • Your spouse lives in another country
  • You both live in another country
  • You own property in another country
  • Possible child custody issues across borders
  • You and your spouse got married in another country

These are not all of the reasons why couples seek an international divorce. If you have questions about your potential international divorce case, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced professional.

The Laws That Govern International Divorce

In most cases, you will find that more than one country can hear and decide a divorce case. Each country's rules and divorce laws differ, so it is crucial to choose the jurisdiction that is most advantageous to your situation. Some of the most critical issues to consider when deciding where to file your international divorce case include: 

  • Issues related to property division
  • Child custody issues
  • Enforcing court orders

To make sure that divorce court orders are followed internationally, the United States, along with more than 75 other countries, are members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. This organization has a special section for divorce to ensure that international divorces are legally recognized across all member countries.

Get Professional Assistance

To schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney who can help answer your questions related to international divorces, call (704) 302-1991 or contact us online. We are conveniently located in both Shelby and Gastonia, NC.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar