How Does California Handle Foreign Divorces?


In most cases, couples seeking a Pasadena divorce only need to worry about divorce laws in the state of California. However, there are some circumstances in which foreign divorce laws must be considered.

United States citizens sometimes travel to other countries to obtain a divorce because of shorter waiting periods or more favorable laws regarding the distribution of assets. The most popular countries in which U.S. citizens seek a divorce are the Dominican Republic, Guam, Haiti, and Mexico. Circumstances vary according to where an international divorce was obtained, but generally a divorce from outside the U.S. will be recognized as long as both spouses were fully aware of the proceedings.

If you are thinking about obtaining a divorce in another country, it is a good idea to speak to a lawyer in your home state to make sure that your divorce will be legally recognized when you return to the U.S.

The other issue related to foreign divorces is in how it might affect immigration. Foreign divorces are recognized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as long as the divorce was obtained according to the laws of the jurisdiction or country in which the divorce took place. Proper documentation of the divorce is important. Documents relating to the divorce can be authenticated by the testimony of the applicant, by a consular office of the issuing country, or by an official having legal custody of the record.

An attorney with experience in immigration law can provide additional information relating to how a foreign divorce may affect your immigration case.

How Can We Help?

If you need to find a qualified attorney to handle your divorce-related concerns, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our Pasadena divorce firm is staffed with skilled attorneys who can provide the representation you need to handle issues relating to child support, child custody, visitation, alimony, or the distribution of marital assets.