How doesa foreigner who cannot legally divorce a man in her country, obtain a divorce in the USA?

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How doesa foreigner who cannot legally divorce a man in her country, obtain a divorce in the USA?

My fiance is a British and Filipino citizen currently living in the Philippines. She is legally married to a Filipino but has been separated from him for over 3 years. There is no divorce in the Philippines but if she were to get one abroad will it be recognized? If so, how does she obtain a divorce in the US? We plan on getting married as soon as she is divorced. Also, what are the requirements for her to be able to live with me in the US as a de facto spouse? Even if she can’t immediately get a divorce, we want to be living together by this year.

Asked on February 27, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Common law marriages are not viewed as legal in many states in the U.S.A.  Further, common law marriages are never allowed when one spouse is still married. To obtain a divorce, she needs to consult with a California divorce attorney (if she is a legal U.S. resident or U.S. Citizen) to see if she can obtain a divorce by filing for one in California.  It doesn't matter where you were married but rather where you reside. California is a no fault state; so if she meets all other requirements, there shouldn't be an issue.  The only issue I see is his residency.  If the court can allow her to file, and after giving legal notice to the spouse, continue with her filing, there shouldn't be an issue.  At most, she may need to involve an immigration attorney and the embassy but an experienced lawyer will be able to walk through those obstacles without much concern.


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