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Is a Foreign Divorce Valid?

This is a question which if often asked and poorly understood. There are a lot of misconceptions that are floating around this question.

Here are the facts.

Divorce is a state matter and rarely referred to the Federal government. Also, the United States does not have treaty or understanding over the recognition of divorce proceeding s with any country.

The validity of the divorce in a foreign country is recognized if both the parties have followed proper procedures and at least one of them should have domicile in the foreign country in question at that time.

There have been cases where none of the parties involved could prove a domicile in the country and those divorces were rejected as invalid.

Foreign or migratory divorces can be of four kinds. They can be ex parte, bilateral, void or practical recognition. Out of these, most courts do not recognize the ‘void’ category as it is done without the knowledge of one of the parties involved.

All questions regarding the legality of divorce can be got from the Attorney General’s office in the state or the need may arise to hire a private divorce lawyer.

Some people also were under the impression that a foreign divorce has to register in the US embassy or consulate if present in that nation, however this is not the case.

A copy of the divorce paper is necessary and it needs to authenticate by the proper authorities of that country so that it can admitted in a US court if necessary. These papers should be translated in English and if possible, those too should be authenticated.

In most of the cases if both the parties are present, or the absent party is informed and given proper notice then the divorce proceedings should be considered valid in USA.

As stated earlier the clinching point should be that at least one of the parties should be able to prove legal domicile in the country at the time of divorce proceedings.

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