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Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

Old May 3rd 2008, 5:32 pm
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Default Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

Okay this may sound crazy, but can someone put me staight on this. We got married in England (both are british citizens) in 1989. We moved here to California in 1993 and have been having marrital problems for the past couple of years. He threatened me with, I can't divorce him here because the US do not recognize our marriage because we didn't marry here. I would have to go back to UK to divorce him and if I do that he will ignore my request and tell me to f**k off. Surely he's talking through is a**. Where do I stand here? Can anyone help?
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Old May 3rd 2008, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

You should definitely seek legal advice on this both with regard to the divorce itself and what effect, if any, filing for divorce might have on your own status in the US.

That having been said, my understanding is that if you are resident in California (for one of the many legal meanings of "resident") then you can file for divorce in California.

The suggestion that the US doesn't recognize your marriage because you weren't married in the US is absurd (assuming, that is, that you were legally married in the UK).

Anyway I really do urge you to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
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Old May 3rd 2008, 5:53 pm
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Default Re: Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

Originally Posted by md95065 View Post
You should definitely seek legal advice on this both with regard to the divorce itself and what effect, if any, filing for divorce might have on your own status in the US.

That having been said, my understanding is that if you are resident in California (for one of the many legal meanings of "resident") then you can file for divorce in California.

The suggestion that the US doesn't recognize your marriage because you weren't married in the US is absurd (assuming, that is, that you were legally married in the UK).

Anyway I really do urge you to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
Thanks. Know of any good attorney's? I am having trouble finding one who works in both divorce and immigration law. Yes we are legally married in UK.
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Old May 3rd 2008, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

Originally Posted by JAMZ View Post
Thanks. Know of any good attorney's? I am having trouble finding one who works in both divorce and immigration law. Yes we are legally married in UK.
You probably won't find one who specializes in both, but an immigration attorney should be able to explain to you the possible immigration consequences of filing for divorce so if I were you I would probably check up on the immigration issues first.

What is your status in the US? Since you say that you have been in CA since 1993 it seems likely that you have your green card by now - if that is the case you shouldn't have any problems - just go straight for the divorce attorney.

Last edited by md95065; May 3rd 2008 at 6:08 pm.
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Old May 3rd 2008, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

Originally Posted by md95065 View Post
You probably won't find one who specializes in both, but an immigration attorney should be able to explain to you the possible immigration consequences of filing for divorce so if I were you I would probably check up on the immigration issues first.

What is your status in the US? Since you say that you have been in CA since 1993 it seems likely that you have your green card by now - if that is the case you shouldn't have any problems - just go straight for the divorce attorney.
Yeah, we actually got our green cards through the immigration lottery. Managed to get it because my husband is from Ireland. So we have always had Green Cards from day one.
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Old May 3rd 2008, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

If the USA recognized your marriage for immigration purposes.......

what makes him think they wouldn't recognize it over here.
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Old May 3rd 2008, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

Originally Posted by JAMZ View Post
Yeah, we actually got our green cards through the immigration lottery. Managed to get it because my husband is from Ireland. So we have always had Green Cards from day one.
Get on with your Citizenship then ....
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Old May 3rd 2008, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

She's actually trying to go back to the UK I read in the moving back forum, although I think her kids are born USCs.
Jamz I would really urge you to get citizenship if you can in case your kids want to come back here one day, then you won't need to worry about maintaining your PR status once you're back in the UK. Your divorce won't mean anything to your immigration status as far as I'm aware since you already have a gc.
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Old May 3rd 2008, 8:31 pm
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Default Re: Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

Originally Posted by chicagojlo View Post
She's actually trying to go back to the UK I read in the moving back forum, although I think her kids are born USCs.
Jamz I would really urge you to get citizenship if you can in case your kids want to come back here one day, then you won't need to worry about maintaining your PR status once you're back in the UK. Your divorce won't mean anything to your immigration status as far as I'm aware since you already have a gc.
I agree. If/when her kids have kids, she may want the option of being about and coming and going as she wishes.
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Old May 4th 2008, 5:46 am
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Default Re: Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

Originally Posted by chicagojlo View Post
She's actually trying to go back to the UK I read in the moving back forum, although I think her kids are born USCs.
Jamz I would really urge you to get citizenship if you can in case your kids want to come back here one day, then you won't need to worry about maintaining your PR status once you're back in the UK. Your divorce won't mean anything to your immigration status as far as I'm aware since you already have a gc.
Hi Chicagojlo, If I get Citizenship, do I have to stay in the country for any length of time after I'm given it. Seems so bad to get it and then bugger off, kind of hypocritical. However, I do understand what you are all saying.
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Old May 4th 2008, 5:48 am
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Default Re: Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

Originally Posted by JAMZ View Post
If I get Citizenship, do I have to stay in the country for any length of time after I'm given it.
No.
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Old May 4th 2008, 6:09 am
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Default Re: Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

Originally Posted by JAMZ View Post
Hi Chicagojlo, If I get Citizenship, do I have to stay in the country for any length of time after I'm given it. Seems so bad to get it and then bugger off, kind of hypocritical. However, I do understand what you are all saying.
You'll have to file taxes annually, but this shouldn't be an onerous task, and a small price to pay to keep life options open.
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Old May 4th 2008, 6:19 am
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Default Re: Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

Originally Posted by Ozzidoc View Post
You'll have to file taxes annually, but this shouldn't be an onerous task, and a small price to pay to keep life options open.
This.
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Old May 4th 2008, 7:18 am
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Default Re: Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

The bigger issue is whether or not your husband (to-be-ex) would allow you to take the children with you back to the UK. If he says no.... you're pretty much stuck I'm afraid.
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Old May 4th 2008, 12:47 pm
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Default Re: Marriage problems, can I divorce him here?

Not sure if this is a BIG help, but 20+ years ago I divorced my husband (we were married in the UK and at the time living in Iowa). We had green cards. It made no difference to my status, and in fact my green card had my married name on it for as long as I had it. (I just got citizenship a couple of years ago.)

We had no kids. That's a whole different can of worms.
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