International Family Law
McFarling Law Group routinely represents clients in cases that involve international issues. We handle all sorts of international family law issues.
McFarling Law Group is particularly experienced in dealing with cases that involve an international aspect. We are skilled at the highly complex procedures for obtaining official and translated court documents from other countries, certifying and translating court documents from Nevada for use in other countries, coordinating with foreign attorneys and courts and researching the laws in foreign countries for use in cases in Nevada. If you have a case with any international issues, we can assist in all the complexities that entails.
For cases involving international parental kidnapping see our INTERNATIONAL PARENTAL KIDNAPPING practice area.
We have in our staff a paralegal with a degree in legal translation in Spanish and can assist Spanish speaking clients without an outside translator. For all other languages, we are comfortable working with a translator to communicate with our clients.
We have dealing with issues in foreign countries and coordinated with courts, attorneys and legal documents in many countries around the world, including Japan, China, Korea, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Belize, Hungary, Poland, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Russia, Cyprus, Sweden, Germany, France, England, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of The Congo, Egypt, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Philippines, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Australia, Canada.
Several of our attorneys are avid travelers and particularly adept at dealing with foreign language and customs. Emily McFarling has lived in London, Budapest, Rhodes, and Berlin. She has traveled all over the world, including most of Europe, Turkey, India, China, Cuba, Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Curacao, and Canada. She owns a real estate company in Hungary. Emily has been admitted into the International Academy of Family Attorneys, the premier organization for family law attorneys who deal with international issues in their practice. She is one of only a few in Nevada and the third Nevada attorney accepted into the academy.
Whether your issues involves property in another country, a premarital agreement signed (or to be signed) by a non-native English speaking person, child relocation to a foreign country, international parental kidnapping, enforcement of orders from or in a foreign country, or simply one or both parties are from a foreign country, McFarling Law Group can assist you in any type of family law case that involves international issues.
Examples of our International Cases:
Cases with International Financial Issues
Chinese Client – A man and his wife were Chinese and lived in China. The wife kidnapped the child to Nevada and filed for divorce here. The judge granted a default divorce and awarded most property and custody to the wife. The man hired me to appeal the denial of a request to set aside the trial court’s decision while litigation proceeds in China on the same properties divided in the Nevada divorce. We have had to obtain certified translated court orders and documents from China for use in the Nevada case, but also obtain certified and translated Nevada documents for the client to use in litigation in China. This involves coordinating with the Nevada Supreme Court, Secretary of State and Chinese Consulate to get the documents in proper format.
Client married to a Philippine national – A man had purchased property in the Philippines while married to his Philippine national wife. In the divorce, the Nevada court considered it community property, but Philippine law dictated who could actually own the property following the divorce.
Premarital Agreements Written in English but Signed by a Non-Native English Speaker
Client from Thailand – A client from Thailand had signed a premarital agreement written only in English marrying an attorney. We successfully negotiated a settlement that was not based upon the premarital agreement.
Client from Brazil – A client from Brazil had signed a premarital agreement written only in English and without being represented by an attorney. We represented her at trial in challenging the validity of the premarital agreement.
Client from Bulgaria – A client from Bulgaria had signed a premarital agreement written only in English but was verbally translated at her attorney’s office prior to signing. We represented her at trial in challenging the validity of the premarital agreement.
Nevada Supreme Court Published Decisions in International Cases:
Davis v. Ewalefo, 352 P.3d 1139 (2015).
In this case, the trial judge denied the father, our client, the right to exercise his visitation in a foreign country where he was employed. We appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court. The appeal focused on a parent’s constitutional rights to parent and exercise his visitation where he sees fit so long as the child was not in danger. In an en banc published decision, the Nevada Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s decision and remanded the case back to the district court for our client to be allowed visitation in Africa where he lived.
Ogawa v. Ogawa, 125 Nev. 660 (2009).
In this case our client relocated from Nevada to Japan with the minor children without the mother’s permission. The mother filed a divorce and custody action in Nevada after the children had been in Japan for eight months. The district court took jurisdiction and ordered the client to return with the children—citing the Hague Convention to which Japan was not a signatory. The client refused to return the children and did not appear for trial, although he was represented by counsel at the trial. The trial judge awarded custody and all the community property to the mother at trial as a sanction for the father not appearing.
I appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court. In a published opinion, the Nevada Supreme Court en banc held it was improper to default a litigant when he had an attorney appear on his behalf, and even in the event of a default, the Judge should have divided community property pursuant to the law, which would be equally. The Nevada Supreme Court also held in situations where a party may have misled the other party as to their intentions when leaving a State, the time period for jurisdiction begins when the party becomes aware the other party has actually relocated and does not intend to return.
We represented the client also on remand where the court relinquished child custody jurisdiction and made orders based upon all of the evidence and re-divided the community property equally. My client is still in Japan with his children.
Nguyen v. Boynes, 133 Nev.Adv.Op. 32 (2017)
In this case, two gay men who were previously in a relationship were engaged in a paternity and child custody case in district court. One of the men adopted a child on his own but the other party was involved in the adoption process and cared for the child in his home half the week. The District Court established rights for the second father through paternity statues. On appeal the Nevada Supreme Court awarded rights to the second father under the limited theory of equitable adoption. One issue in this case was the fact that our client was not a native English speaker and had a strong accent that interfered with the judge’s ability to understand him at trial. There was also evidence presented on Vietnamese cultural traditions of referring to friends with family member titles and non-confrontation.
Unpublished appeal cases with international Issues:
Adamska- District Court Case, Nevada Supreme Court Case No. 67328, & U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 16-797:
In this case, our client unilaterally removed her two children to Poland without the father’s knowledge. The father filed for divorce and custody in Nevada. After two years of litigation, the Nevada District Court ultimately dismissed the custody case, deferring jurisdiction to Poland and issued a status divorce. On appeal, the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed the District Court. The father then appealed to the United States Supreme Court where they declined to review the case. Our client remains living in Poland with her children with custody decisions able to be made by the Polish court.
Merchan- U.S. District Court and 9th Circuit Case No. 14-16045:
In this case, I represented a Father, a Colombian national, whose child was detained by the mother in the U.S. contrary to a valid Colombian Custody order. Even though the child expressed a desire to remain in the United States with her mother, my client prevailed in U.S. District Court as the child’s wishes alone were insufficient to overcome the father’s valid foreign custody order. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the Federal District Court’s decision after oral argument and briefing. Even though we had won in trial court and on appeal, the mother was defying the court order and hiding the child. My office assisted law enforcement in retrieving the child from school, obtaining overnight secure housing for her and delivering her to her father at the airport. My client currently has his daughter back home with him in Colombia.
Kashuba- Nevada Supreme Court Case No. 69829:
In this case, I represented a mother on appeal of a district court order granting the father primary custody despite there being prior evidence of domestic violence by him after the mother moved the child to Canada without the father’s permission. The court had excluded certain evidence at trial based on it having occurred prior to the most recent custodial order. I appealed. The Appellate Court reversed the decision and remanded with the district court to conduct a new trial and allow in the previously excluded evidence. In addition to the appeal, we represented the mother in the second trial where she presented the previously excluded evidence and obtained primary physical custody. Our client now has custody of her son in Canada.