Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Foreign divorce

This is only general information. Every case is different and questions regarding the interpretation of the law of the State of the United States and foreign laws should be addressed with an attorney in your jurisdiction.

Reply: State v. federal jurisdiction:

Marriage and divorce are generally considered matters reserved to the States, rather than to the Federal Government. There is no treaty in force between United States and in any country on the enforcement of sentences, including the recognition of foreign divorces.


A divorce decree issued in a foreign country, is generally recognized in a State in the United States according to the provided courtesy of both parties to divorce proper notice received, namely, service of process and, in General, provided one of the parties was a domiciliary of foreign country at the time of the divorce. According to the principle of courtesy, a divorce obtained in another country in the circumstances described above receives the "full faith and credit" in all other States and countries that recognize the divorce. Although full faith and credit can be given to an ex parte (a part of the action for divorce is absent) the Decree of divorce, States usually consider the jurisdictional basis on which the foreign Decree is founded and can retain the full faith and credit if you are not satisfied as regards the domicile in a foreign country. Many State courts that have addressed the issue of a foreign divorce where both parties involved in the divorce proceeding, but nobody gets home we have followed the view that such a divorce invalid.


Questions regarding the validity of foreign divorces in particular States in the United States should be submitted to the Office of the Attorney General of your state. It may be necessary to retain the services of a private attorney if the Office of the Attorney General does not provide such assistance to private citizens. Provide advice with copies of foreign certificates, marriage, divorce decrees and copies of foreign laws relating to divorce, which may be available to the foreign lawyer who has handled the divorce.


Foreigners "migratory" divorces fall into four basic categories.

Ex parte divorces, based on the physical presence of the applicant in a foreign nation, with constructive notice or service given to defendant absent. Visites divorces, based on the physical presence of both parts of the nation's divorce, or the physical presence of the applicant and volunteering "appearance" by the defendant through a lawyer. Void divorces, where a divorce is obtained ex parte without notice, actual or constructive, the accused is absent. Courts do not recognize or enforce this type of divorce. Practical Recognition divorces, practical recognition that can be bestowed these decrees because of estoppel, Laches, unclean hands or similar equitable doctrines under which the party attacking the Decree be effectively excluded from the protection of a decree of nullity. Many jurisdictions prohibit the spouse who has agreed to divorce from the attack and later under a principle of fairness, called "foreclosure". Thus, a party may be precluded from attacking a foreign divorce decree, if such an attack would be fair under the circumstances.Registration foreign divorces and the role of the United States embassies and consulates abroad:

There are provisions under the law of the United States or of a regulation for the registration of foreign divorce decrees at U.S. embassies or consulates abroad.


The uniform law on marriage and divorce (1970, 1973), 9A Unif. Laws. Ann. 461 (1965 Supp.) is in effect in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana and Washington State. Section 314 (c) of the uniform law on marriage and divorce establishes a procedure for the clerk of the Court where the divorce decree is issued the decree to register at the place where the marriage itself was originally recorded. Divorce law recognition, 9 Unif. Read Ann. 644 (1979), specifically denies recognition to a decree of divorce obtained in another jurisdiction when both spouses were domiciled in the State of origin. The Act of recognition of uniform divorce is in effect in California, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Wisconsin.


In the absence of a "certificate of witness to marriage", copies of foreign marriage certificates may be obtained directly by the Registrar in a foreign country where the marriage occurred. For instructions on how to obtain copies of foreign public documents, contact the Embassy or Consulate of the foreign country in the United States.


Obtain a certified copy of the foreign divorce decree by the Court in the foreign country where he was issued the Decree of divorce. Then you have authenticated the document for use in the United States. Finally, get a certified English translation of the Decree of divorce (the translator performs a certificate before a notary public in the United States). When requesting copies of foreign public documents, such as marriage or divorce records, it may be advisable to write foreign authorities in the language of the foreign country. Enclose copies of relevant documents and fees needed in the form of an international money order.

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