Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Residency Requirements Prevent Divorce for Cancer Patient

A couple seeking a divorce in New Zealand is facing a difficult time having the courts recognize their desire to split up. Similar problems occur in the United States, where divorce and residency requirements vary from state to state. Texas, for example, requires that at least one spouse be a resident of the state for 180 days before able to file for divorce. Whether domestically or internationally, spouses who travel face difficult decisions when filing for divorce and deciding child custody.

The New Zealand man, Dave Feickert, attempted to file for divorce from his wife in February of this year. She is the British author Marina Lewycka who has won awards for her books, which include “A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian” and “Two Caravans.” The couple has been married since 1987. He lives in Beijing with a different woman, while Lewycka’s work has her traveling all over the world. Adding to the couple’s strains is the fact that Feickert has a terminal form of cancer and has been fighting it for six years. In May, doctors told him he may just have a few years left.

The New Zealand court has refused to grant the divorce because it claims that Lewycka has not spent enough time in the country to meet immigration requirements, even though Feickert is a New Zealand citizen. Now the couple has turned to finding lawyers for each of them to file affidavits that the two have not been living together or involved at all since February of 2008. Feickert is not pleased that he and his separated wife have to spend so many of his last days navigating the country’s bureaucracy.

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce attorneys

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