As some of our Fort Lauderdale readers know, divorces can sometimes turn contentious, especially when different jurisdictions get thrown in the mix. Because of differing laws, what one state deems appropriate for a divorce agreement may conflict with another state’s laws. Those who have seen this happen with international laws know this can not only make a divorce difficult but can drag out litigation longer than most couples would like.

This is the case for a couple that is making headlines in both the United States and Canada this month. Their case is complicated because the wife, who had been living in Canada with her husband for much of their marriage, filed for separation in 2009 while the couple was in Florida. She subsequently filed for divorce with the 15th Judicial Circuit for Palm Beach County.

Although her divorce was granted here in the U.S., her ex-husband contends that Florida should not have jurisdiction over the case because the couple lived in Canada for most of their marriage and their children were all born in Canada. Recently, he brought this argument to Canada’s highest court. Unfortunately for the ex-husband, the Supreme Court ruled that it would not hear the case, which has been working its way through the United States and Canadian courts for five years.

This case demonstrates to our readers just how lengthy and complicated litigation can get when different jurisdictions become involved. Some couples may have experienced similar difficulties and can empathize with the ex-wife in this case when she says that she simply wants her children to get what they are entitled to in the end. On the other hand though, some may sympathize with the ex-husband who feels that his divorce should not be handled by Florida’s courts.

Sources: CBC News Nova Scotia, “Supreme Court won’t hear Halifax couple’s divorce case,” Feb. 6, 2014, “Armoyan v. Armoyan, 2012 NSSC 323,” Sept. 14, 2012