Do statesrecognize a divorce issued by a country of origin?

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Do statesrecognize a divorce issued by a country of origin?

I got married in Lebanon. Moved with husband to the states 6 years ago (CA 5 years) after getting an L1-visa as a married couple until we decided to take different paths about 1 1/2 years ago. We share no properties and have no children. We filed for divorce in our country of origin and it was recently granted to us. Now, does CA recognize that divorce so that I can remarry in the future here? If not, what should I do? As far as I know I never registered my marriage here. For immigration purposes I showed a marriage certificate, that’s it.

Asked on February 1, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

So you married and divorced in Lebanon, correct?  And now you live in California.  Yes, the United States recognizes marriages and divorces that are validly issued in another Country. A divorce decree issued by a foreign country generally is recognized in a state on the basis of comity, provided that the parties have fulfilled the requirements imposed by the issuing country’s law, as well as relevant state laws.  That means that you should seek consultation from an attorney in California as to any additional requirements that could impede recognition of the divorce,  For example, in order for a foreign divorce decree to be recognized in New York, the foreign court must first have had in personam jurisdiction over both spouses. In addition, New York requires that both parties consent to a foreign court’s jurisdiction and that at least one party’s residency be established through a statutory “brief contact” through the party’s physical appearance at the divorce proceeding in the foreign country. Good luck.


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