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Can a foreign divorce be recognized in the United States?

 Marriage and divorce generally are considered matters reserved to the states rather than to the federal government. There is no treaty in force between the United States and any country that requires the recognition of foreign divorces.  However, a divorce decree issued in a foreign country generally is recognized in a state in the United States on the basis of comity, where both parties had notice of the divorce proceeding and an opportunity to be heard within these proceedings.  Under the principle of comity, a divorce obtained in a foreign country under the circumstances described above generally will be recognized by states within the United States.  States also may consider the jurisdictional basis upon which the foreign decree is founded and may not recognize the foreign divorce if the court is not satisfied that at least one party was domiciled in the country at the time of the divorce.  Many state courts which have addressed the question of a foreign divorce where both parties participate in foreign divorce proceedings but neither is domiciled in the foreign county have followed the view that such a divorce is invalid.  Questions regarding the validity of foreign divorces in particular U.S. states may be answered by office of the attorney general of the state in question. However, you may also need to retain private counsel or consult an attorney for help.

CategoryDivorce, English