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  1. #1
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    Nov 2009
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    Default Permanent Residents Divorcing in Their Home Country (Islamic Divorce)

    My question involves divorce in the State of: Virginia

    Dear all,
    I have a question about divorce for foreign nationals who are permanent residents in the US.

    We were married in our home country and we came to the US and are currently residing in Virginia. We decided on divorce and prepared a legal separation agreement, and then I went back to our home country (since we are both citizens of that country) and obtained an Islamic divorce from the court (which does not require the wife’s signature) in ten days and came back.

    Even though I was sure at the time that this divorce would be accepted (and I filed it with my employer and they accepted it), I am now confused and I need some feedback. I looked at the comity requirements and I found that for a foreign divorce to be accepted by comity it has to satisfy the following two conditions:
    a. either party has to obtain domicile in the foreign country,
    b. sufficient notice must have been provided to both parties if they are not both present during the divorce procedures.
    (http://travel.state.gov/law/info/mar...riage_641.html)
    I thought my domicile is satisfied by the fact that the divorce is obtained in the home country while physically present there with the court having jurisdiction on both of us. And that sufficient notice has been provided and can be verified by the fact that we had a separation agreement prior to the divorce signed and notarized a month before the actual divorce, and that the court in our home country does not provide formal notice for divorces initiated by the husbands.
    I am planning to get married and some of the family members are concerned that the divorce might not be accepted in the US and therefore the subsequent marriage would be void (let alone the risks of bigamy). Their rationale is that since we live in Virginia then our domicile is in Virginia and not back home. We are all confused though on how would the law look at the fact that we are both nationals of that country and not citizens here? I would appreciate any help in this matter and especially if there is some hard-information or references to cases that we can use for a peace of mind.
    Best regards,
    Confused in the US

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Permanent Residents Divorcing in Their Home Country (Islamic Divorce)

    If you satisfied the domicile laws of the nation in which you were divorced, that should be fine. Did you give your (ex-)spouse notice of the legal proceeding and opportunity to appear and be heard? Is your (ex-)spouse accepting of the divorce, or not?

  3. #3
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    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: Permanent Residents Divorcing in Their Home Country (Islamic Divorce)

    Dear Mr. Knowitall,
    There is no legal proceedings in Islamic divorce. All it takes is to go to the officially court-appointed religious clerk with two witnesses and pronounce the divorce, then take the certificate to the higher court for official stamps.

    My ex knew and was in agreement with the divorce and signed the separation agreement one month before the divorce.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Permanent Residents Divorcing in Their Home Country (Islamic Divorce)

    If you have documentation of the divorce, your spouse has notice, and everybody agrees with the outcome, why do you believe that there will be a problem?

    Incidentally, there's more than one Islamic country in the world and, believe it or not, they don't all have identical laws. Further, what do you think the process of getting that officially stamped divorce certificate is, if not a legal process to which your ex- is entitled to notice?

  5. #5
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    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: Permanent Residents Divorcing in Their Home Country (Islamic Divorce)

    I am worried about the divorce being accepted here in the US because of the severe consequences if it wasn't accepted. Yes, logically from my point of view it should be, but I am not sure about the view point of the legal system here and whether it would accept our home country as a 'domicile' while we live here. I am not really looking for opinions as much as I am looking for solid facts based on similar cases that someone here might be familiar with.
    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Permanent Residents Divorcing in Their Home Country (Islamic Divorce)

    Nobody here can tell you how an Islamic divorce from your country has been historically treated in Virginia, because nobody here except you knows what country we're talking about.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: Permanent Residents Divorcing in Their Home Country (Islamic Divorce)

    Doesn't matter which country; the rules are the same. Any one would do.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Permanent Residents Divorcing in Their Home Country (Islamic Divorce)

    You can explore recent case law here.

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