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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Foreign Divorce Registration in US Court

    I will try to keep short and to the point. My wife is German, she was married to an Air Force MSgt, the AF moved them to Kadena Air Base, Japan where they lived for four or so years. They were divorced in Japan in Aug 2002 through the Japanese court of family law assisted by the military legal office. They were married for 19 years and the divorce agreement states that she will get 25% of his retired pay. In 2005 she and I were married in Minot North Dakota where we now live. Her ex-husband has since retired from the military. My wife filed a DD Form 2293 (APPLICATION FOR FORMER SPOUSE PAYMENTS FROM RETIRED PAY) and sent it to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Cleveland Ohio. DFAS unfortunately do not recognize the divorce from Japan. Once the divorce is registered in a US court she can resend the DDForm 2293 to DFAS and they will automatically take the 25% from his retired pay. The question is how can we get the divorce registered? Since her ex-husband was in the military and the AF moved them to Japan does that satisfy the requirement to be domiciled in the foreign country and will full faith and credit be given because of that?
    Thanks in advance for your help.
    North Dakota

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Foreign Divorce Registration in US Court

    To register a foreign judgment, you typically need a copy of the judgment, a certified translation, and possibly an apostille (a special form of certification often required in family law cases - think of it as a fancier, more costly version of notarization).

    I'm not going to delve into the matter of treaties, but will assume that existing treaties render a Japanese divorce judgment subject to full faith and credit in a North Dakota court. (If your wife's ex- wants to argue otherwise, he can object to the registration of the judgment and try to make his case.)

    General procedures for registering a foreign judgment are outlined in the North Dakota Statutes, Chapter 28-20.1 (PDF).

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