Will a divorce in foreign country be recognized in the US?

UPDATED: Sep 18, 2011

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Will a divorce in foreign country be recognized in the US?

I was married in Pakistan but this marriage was never registered in US. Now I want to divorce my wife who lives in Pakistan. In Pakistan, Union Council issues you the certificate for divorce and in USA it’s a court decree. Will my divorce certificate from Pakistan be valid in US. Or should I not even mention that I ever was married in Pakistan as it was never registered here. My spouse never visited and in fact we never lived together. It was just paper marriage.

Asked on September 18, 2011 under Family Law, California


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am unfamiliar with the laws in Pakistan but here in the United States we recognize marriages that were legally entered in to in another country.  So what I am worried about is even if you did not register the marriage in the US, if you married here it could still be seen here as bigamy which is against the law.  So I would do what you need to do to legally divorce your spouse  - either here or in Pakistan - and not ignore the situation as it seems that is what you may be intending to do.  Please seek legal help as soon as you can to make sure that everything is handled properly.  Good luck to you.   

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