Cross border divorce for Bangladeshi citizens living abroad
About 40 Million Bangladeshi citizens live abroad in foreign countries. Besides many more thousands have become citizens of different countries of the world namely USA, UK, Canada, Australia etc. Most of the Bangladeshi citizens living abroad (Non Resident Bangladeshis or NRBs) and foreign citizens of Bangladeshi origin or people having dual nationality i.e. being a Bangladeshi by birth and having a foreign Nationality as well have married in Bangladesh under the laws of Bangladesh. Having done so when they face family crisis and when the crisis reach the boiling point of executing a Divorce a dilemma is faced by the NRBs. The major questions that arise are:-
(I) Where should I apply for divorce?
(ii) Which country’s law isa applicable for me?
(iii) Can I serve a Divorce notice from abroad in Bangladesh?
(iv) Will my divorce under the laws of Bangladesh be recognized in the foreign country where I reside now?
These are a very few of the many questions that arise in the mind of the NRBs and also in the mind of the lawyers who work for them. Unfortunately the existing family laws of Bangladesh do not provide any clear answer to those questions. Actually the existing family laws of the land do not contain any guidance on the family law related disputes faced by Bangladeshi citizens living abroad. Although we lawyers have way out for the NRBs facing such problems but it is high time that the legislators take the matter into notice and relevant amendment to the family law needs to be made to address the above lacuna in law.
Barrister Md. Sanwar Hossain
Supreme Court of Bangladesh
S Hossain and Associates