Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

5005 Riverway Drive, Suite 450 • Houston, Texas 77056

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

Overseas Marriage and Divorce

In the US, family law is largely a state matter, meaning that marriage and divorce laws vary, sometimes substantially, from state to state. Although it may seem that things would get even more confusing for couples married or divorced overseas, formal recognition of an overseas divorce or marriage is quite similar to divorces and marriages that take place in the US.

Recognizing an overseas marriage here in the US

Generally, an overseas marriage is valid here in the US as long as the marriage overseas occurred pursuant to the laws of the country where you were married. There is nothing required on your part to become an officially married couple in the US. If your marriage was valid overseas, you remain married in the US, although maintaining several copies of the official marriage certificate is a good idea for immigration and other official government purposes.

Getting a divorce in the US for an overseas marriage

In order to divorce in the US if you were married outside of the country, you will need the same basic information as if you were married here – country, region and city in the country and date of wedding. A copy of the marriage certificate usually helps the process.

Recognizing an overseas divorce in the US

Again, adhering to the laws of the overseas country is what is paramount. If your divorce overseas was valid, keep copies of the official records in the event that you need them later on. American states have refused to recognize overseas divorces when the divorce occurs without the two sides’ having acquired the legal residence necessary for couples to divorce in that country. This rule is what most American states have as well – you or your spouse must have lived in the state a certain amount of time before being able to file for divorce in the courts of that state.

Have you been involved in a family law case involving American laws and those of another country? What advice do you have to share with others?

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

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