Can I get married to a man who is still legally married in a foreign country?

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Can I get married to a man who is still legally married in a foreign country?

My fiancé had obtained a legal divorce in the US from his Japanese ex-wife. We have the final divorce decree signed by a US Judge. We both live in the U.S. and are both U.S. citizens. She lives in Japan and is a Japanese citizen. They had agreed that he would do the American divorce and she would complete the Japanese divorce. Now that the American divorce is complete, she refuses to file the divorce in Japan. Are there any legal reasons why he and I cannot get married in the U.S.? I just want to protect myself legally.

Asked on September 28, 2010 under Family Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Ok well I am going with the assumption that he is legally divorced.  If he was a citizen of the United States and the court had jurisdiction over his filing (there are residency requirements ) AND had jurisdiction over his Japanese Wife (did she sign any affidavits or admit to service or waive service of the pleadings?) then he is divorced.  I understand that there may be an issue under some weird treaties and you are right to question this.  What I would do is to contact the Japanese Mimistry of Foreign Affairs and ask how to register the US divorce with them.  http://www.mofa.go.jp/  And I migt contact the US Embassy to ask about Japan giving full faith and credit to US divorces.  Good luck.


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