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Pakistani divorce case lands in Texas court

A complicated international divorce case unfolding in Texas demonstrates the importance of where and when a person files for divorce. A couple who are residents of Texas but citizens of Pakistan are now arguing over which place has jurisdiction in deciding the financial arrangements in their split.

The two were married in Pakistan. In 2010, they moved to Texas, and in 2012, the woman returned to Pakistan. The idea at the time was that her husband, who is American-Pakistani, would help her obtain U.S. citizenship. However, her husband then divorced her in Pakistan.

Under Pakistani law, even though the husband is worth tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars, he is only obligated to pay his wife $50. Therefore, the wife has brought the case into a Texas courtroom to argue that the state should have jurisdiction. The husband's lawyer says the case should be settled in Pakistan.

There are two further complications. One is that she has appealed the divorce in Pakistan. The other is that if Pakistan rejects her appeal, she might still be eligible for benefits from her husband in a Texas court. The current judge or another judge in an appeals court might decide this.

Even without jurisdictional issues, high-asset divorces often involve litigation and a number of complex factors. For example, if one spouse owns a business or the two co-own one, it may be necessary to decide who is due what portion of the business. Real estate, investments and the presence of children may also create further complications. A family law attorney can be of assistance to a divorcing client in sorting out these and other applicable issues.

Source: Click2Houston, "High-profile $100 million divorce case plays out in Houston court," Jake Reiner, Jan. 29, 2016

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