Can my wife who lives in Costa Rica make me pay alimony?

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Can my wife who lives in Costa Rica make me pay alimony?

I live in FL and my wife is a Costa Rica citizen with no visa to enter the USA. I left her because of her infidelity and returned to FL. We have no children.

Asked on August 3, 2010 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Legally, yes--there is no legal reason why a resident or citizen of another country cannot make a U.S. citizen and resident to whom she was married pay alimony. Practically, it may be difficult, as any international legal action can be difficult: either  she would need to go to court in the United States, which may be expensive and logistically awkward for her; or she'd need to sue in her home country and then look to get a United States court to enforce the judgment. Often people do not pursue legal matters across borders because of that reason, but at least in principal, there are avenues she could pursue if she wanted to. You should consult with a family or matrimonial law attorney to better under the process and your potential liability; the attorney may also be able to guide you in how to structure you assets to best protect them if the wife tries to recover from you.


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