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UK/US divorce

UK/US divorce

Old Jun 14th 2016, 2:39 pm
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Default UK/US divorce

Hi,

I recently went through the K1 visa process, my husband is from the US and I'm from the UK. I did get my Green Card but after roughly a year of serious relationship problems I decided to leave him and come back to England.

I'd like to get a divorce, in the quickest and easiest way possible - does anybody have any idea how this works? He is still living in the US (Pennsylvania) and we have very limited communication. We're both quite young and don't own any property or have any kids - so it shouldn't be too complicated...hopefully??

He is very controlling and manipulative so it's kinda just something I have to do without his input.

Thank you in advance...
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: UK/US divorce

Where are YOU right now? USA or UK?

You can initiate the divorce, and if he doesn't contest it, it should not be a difficult process. It can be done from outside the USA. You'll need to talk to a family/divorce attorney.

If you're not living in the USA, you'll run the risk of abandoning your US PR status. If you know you won't need living in the USA again, there is a form to complete to give up your PR status.

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Old Jun 14th 2016, 3:50 pm
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Default Re: UK/US divorce

You file for divorce where you live, irrespective of where you got married, or lived while you were married. Obviously your husband will need to be notified, but it sounds like you know where he lives/ his mailing address.

The big question, given you left him, and have no children, is the division of assets (savings, investments, pension funds, vehicles, etc.) If you have less (value) than him, then making a clean break should be fairly easy if you don't claim on his assets. If you have assets he could claim a share of then things might be more difficult.

If you don't have any complicating factors, and if your husband will not contest the divorce, then you should be able to file the paperwork with the court yourself, without the involvement of a solicitor.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 14th 2016 at 3:54 pm.
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: UK/US divorce

Thank you guys! I'm back living in the UK, am a UK citizen etc.

We're both artists/creative types and therefore somewhat lacking in assets! I don't think either of us will be trying to claim anything. It's good to know that I may not need a solicitor and can file from the UK.

I'm more than prepared to relinquish my Green Card status...It seems such a waste but I don't really have a reason to be in the USA anymore.
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: UK/US divorce

Originally Posted by Honeylion View Post
Thank you guys! I'm back living in the UK, am a UK citizen etc.

We're both artists/creative types and therefore somewhat lacking in assets! I don't think either of us will be trying to claim anything. It's good to know that I may not need a solicitor and can file from the UK.

I'm more than prepared to relinquish my Green Card status...It seems such a waste but I don't really have a reason to be in the USA anymore.
You can file an I407 to formally relinquish your green card if you want. Otherwise you can do nothing and it will eventually be voided anyway,

If you want to visit the US in future you can apply for an ESTA (assuming you are eligible) even if you haven't relinquished your green card.
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 5:17 pm
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Default Re: UK/US divorce

You also need to decide under what grounds you are divorcing. If its irrevocable differences I think you have to wait 2 years. A solicitor should be able to give you some advice on this. You may get access to a free 30 minutes through CAB
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 5:29 pm
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Default Re: UK/US divorce

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
You can file an I407 to formally relinquish your green card if you want. Otherwise you can do nothing and it will eventually be voided anyway,

If you want to visit the US in future you can apply for an ESTA (assuming you are eligible) even if you haven't relinquished your green card.
But unless you file an I-407 you will always be a US resident for tax & FBAR filing purposes, requiring annual US filing every year for the rest of your life.
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: UK/US divorce

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
You also need to decide under what grounds you are divorcing. If its irrevocable differences I think you have to wait 2 years. A solicitor should be able to give you some advice on this. You may get access to a free 30 minutes through CAB
Is that the rule for filing for divorce in the UK under the grounds of irrevocable differences? I'm familiar with the grounds for divorce in my home state of New York but not with the UK and/or PA. So just curious.
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: UK/US divorce

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Is that the rule for filing for divorce in the UK under the grounds of irrevocable differences? I'm familiar with the grounds for divorce in my home state of New York but not with the UK and/or PA. So just curious.
MrKen appears to be correct, per UK law. This link should be useful, it can provide the forms for self-filing, and has information under the "About Divorce" tab. It looks like two years of separation would be easiest, unless the OP can document "unreasonable behaviour" or adultery.

If the OP's husband is cooperative it might be easier for him to file under PA law. So far as I can tell, if both parties agree to the divorce, only 90 days is required before the divorce is granted. Without agreement it is two years. If this link is correct the OP should be able to file for divorce in the county where her husband lives, using PA divorce law and requirements. I do not know if she can do so from the UK, without either (i) appearing in person at the court or (ii) retaining a local lawyer in Pennsylvania.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 14th 2016 at 6:53 pm.
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: UK/US divorce

Thanks. Guess it is always good to have grounds. I did it with grounds back in 1976 and it took all of 60 days here in NYS. But usually, at least back then, if you filed for a legal separation, then the divorce can be made final, without court appearance, after a year.
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: UK/US divorce

If you file in the UK, from your perspective if you ever need a copy of the divorce certificate it would be easier.
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 8:50 pm
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Default Re: UK/US divorce

Thanks for all your responses and links. It certainly is more complicated than I would have expected prior to getting married.

Perhaps 'unreasonable behaviour' from within the UK would be the best bet.

Guess I need to file an I-407 too then.
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 9:23 pm
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Default Re: UK/US divorce

Sorry he wasn't what you thought he was.

If you are happy to be back in the UK that's fine, I just noted what you said about having no reason to be in the US any longer. However if you would like to stay in the US, just wanted to make sure you knew that just can stay without the support of your husband. You entered the marriage in good faith and I think that's all that counts. Others will know more.

If you stayed long enough to get citizenship (if you don't mind the tax filing obligation) then you may be able to pass US citizenship on to your children if you have any. Again there are others who will know a lot more than me about that.

Just wanted to let you know in case you came back to Britain because you thought you had to.
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 9:27 pm
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Default Re: UK/US divorce

Originally Posted by LondonSquirrel View Post
..... However if you would like to stay in the US, just wanted to make sure you knew that just can stay without the support of your husband. You entered the marriage in good faith and I think that's all that counts. Others will know more.

If you stayed long enough to get citizenship [3 years if married, five years if not] (if you don't mind the tax filing obligation) then you may be able to pass US citizenship on to your children if you have any. Again there are others who will know a lot more than me about that.

Just wanted to let you know in case you came back to Britain because you thought you had to.
This is correct - people married to a USC for much less than two years (the period of the "conditions" on the green card) can get the conditions lifted so long as they entered the marriage in good faith.
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: UK/US divorce

Thank you, I ended up choosing to come back to the UK because I felt it was both easier and safer. Have had to start again from nothing so I figured I might as well be somewhere familiar.

I was in the US for about a year and I had been advised that I would be able to lift the conditions on my GC without my husband.
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