Is this marriage still valid?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is this marriage still valid?

My girlfriend got married in Colombia 8 years ago before coming to the U.S.

She came in with a tourist visa. Here the man commited domestic violence 6 years ago and was deported back to Colombia, also with a restraining order. He cannot have any physical contact with her or contact her. Does she still have

to file a divorce or is this marriage no longer valid? It’s been 6 years already

and he has no interest in her or the 2 kids they had together.

Asked on September 20, 2016 under Family Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Marriages are not ended by distance, by criminal acts or violence, by disinterest or even abandonment--they are legal relationships and must be ended in the eyes of the law by legal process (i.e. by divorce). Until she divorces him, she is still married to him. That means that if she were in a coma or unresponsive state and he became aware of it, he could make medical decisions for her; if she were to die, the children might go to him, especially if he were to seek them--and even if she doesn't die, he could seek and exercise some parental rights; and if she dies, he inherits from her. Obviously, as a practical reason, him being deported to another country and having no contact with her for years makes these things (other than inheritance; if she dies, the probate court, etc. would have to try to find him and give him her assets, even if he is in a different country) less likely, but they could happen; therefore, she really needs to hire a family/divorce law attorney and get divorced as quickly as possible.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption