If I was legally married in both Canada and the US, do I have to dissolve my marriage in both countries or will one divorce cover all the marriages?

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If I was legally married in both Canada and the US, do I have to dissolve my marriage in both countries or will one divorce cover all the marriages?

About 5 years ago I married my fiancee Canada. We were moving to a country where pre-marital cohabitation was a crime, so we did it to avoid legal problems. Later that year, we returned to the US and were legally married in WA as well. Now that we want a divorce, do we have to do it in both countries or does one divorce cancel them all?

Asked on July 12, 2011 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You realize, of course, that it was not necessary to get married in Washington State after you were married in Canada, correct?  If you were legally married to your husband by the laws of the country of Canada that marriage would have been recognized in the United States as valid here.  So is it the same with a divorce. Where is it that you are planning on divorcing (in other words where do you live now)?  Follow the procedures for filing -residency etc.,  - and once you are legally divorced I would file the paperwork where you need in the Provence in Canada that you were married in just so that it is on file there as well.  The divorce will be given recognition. Good luck to you.


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