Do I need to file for divorce in the U.S. if the marriage occurred in another country?

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Do I need to file for divorce in the U.S. if the marriage occurred in another country?

I am a U.S. citizen born in New York. I went to Brazil at the age of 3 where I became a citizen and stayed for 19 years until I separated from my husband and returned to FL of which I am now a current resident. My husband is under my health insurance because he was in the U.S. for some years but has recently returned to Brazil. I want to take my husband off of my insurance but they require legal documentation of divorce or separation. If I file for divorce in Brazil will it be legal in the U.S.

Asked on November 8, 2010 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, as the United States recognizes foreign marriages and divorces that were validly obtained in another country.  Are you still a US Citizen?  Then may I ask: does your Husband also want a divorce and is he willing to file the paperwork that is necessary to obtain one here in the United States?  If the answer is yes then I would seek help from an attorney in Florida.  As long as you meet the residency requirements you may be able to file for divorce there.  The issue is always service of the papers on the other party but some states allow the non-petitioning spouse to file an affidavit of service and intent not to answer (called different things in different states).  Seek some consultation here.  Good luck.


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