Do I need to divorce in order to get remarried if my original marriage was performed in a foreign country?

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Do I need to divorce in order to get remarried if my original marriage was performed in a foreign country?

Married in Syria in 1991; I’ve been separated for 5 years. The marriage is not registered in the US.

Asked on August 14, 2011 California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you married in Syria and your marriage was legal and you have lived in the states as a married couple, there is no need to register your marriage in the U.S. You would have already proven your marriage in any immigration documentation when you moved to the states. If you are separated and have been separated for five years, you need to divorce in this country or Syria (depending on the laws) in order to get re-married here in the U.S.  Polygamy is illegal and you would technically be committing this crime if you did get remarried without a legally recognized divorce, no matter how long you were separated.


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