Is someone lied to meet state residency requirements, is their divorce valid?

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Is someone lied to meet state residency requirements, is their divorce valid?

My husband was previously married for 17 years and obtained a divorce in another state claiming he resided in that state. He did not live there at the time, and neither did she. The court would not have had jurisdiction to grant his divorce due to residency requirements. Is he still legally married to his first wife?

Asked on April 2, 2011 under Family Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

Wyckoff Nissenbaum / The Law Office of Wyckoff Nissenbaum

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I believe the divorce is valid. If your husband obtained a divorce decree and it was not challenged by his ex-wife at the time, then it is still valid. 

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

My gut response here is yes, he is legally still married and no, the divorce is not valid.  The reason that there is a residency requirement put in place by the state is to give the courts what is known as jurisdiction to be able to hear and decide the matter before it.  If they do not have jurisdiction over the parties then they can not make a decision as to the matter.  I would strongly suggest that you seek the advice of an attorney in your are on the matter as soon as you possibly can.  This could prove to be an obstacle to your marriage and you need to get it resolved as quickly as possible.  Good luck to you.


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