Can I divorce in the US without my foreign marriage certificate? 8 Answers as of October 20, 2011

I am a resident/green card holder in the USA but I got married while on a trip to Pakistan (while visiting my spouse's family). Now my spouse is withholding the marriage certificate from me. We have been living separately for over 9 months now. How can I get divorced in the USA (where I and my spouse live) if I do not have my marriage certificate (that was issued in Pakistan) and if I can't obtain a copy of it?

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Touchstone Law Firm, LLC
Touchstone Law Firm, LLC | Dmitry David Balannik
Yes, you can. An affidavit will do.
Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
Replied: 10/20/2011
Law Offices of Peter Y. Qiu
Law Offices of Peter Y. Qiu | Peter Y. Qiu
You can still seek to dissolve your marriage in an Illinois court of law without your certificate.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 10/20/2011
Baughman & Wang
Baughman & Wang | Justin X. Wang
You do not need to show your marriage certificate in order to get divorced in the US (or at least in California). Just file your divorce paper with the family court of your jurisdiction.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/19/2011
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
It would be in your interest to obtain a certified copy from Pakistan. This can be typically done without any problem. This would allow you to have a record as later on, if you remarry you will need to submit such records as well as the divorce decree. As to the divorce, I would need additional information to ensure NY has jurisdiction to consider your divorce action. A divorce can only be granted by a NY court if certain conditions are met.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/19/2011
World Esquire Law Firm
World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
Why do you need it? Just file for the divorce, serve your husband, and go from there. You will have the necessary information to put on the divorce petition, like date of marriage, place of marriage, etc. If he does not answer your complaint then in CA you will be divorced within at least 6 months and a day. Please talk to a family law Attorney for more refined information on this. I am only an immigration Attorney and do not do Family Law. Get the right information and get on with it. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/19/2011
    Law Office of Christine Troy
    Law Office of Christine Troy | Christine Troy
    You can probably get a divorce in your state without the divorce certificate. Talk with a competent family law attorney. Here is also information on requesting a document from Pakistan.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law
    Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law | Theresa E. Tilton
    Divorce is a matter of state law, not federal law or immigration law. In most states, you do not have to have a marriage certificate to get divorced. You file a petition, in which you state, under oath, the facts of when and where you married. If the other party disputes your statement of facts, and the dispute is substantial (not just a matter of days) then one of you may have to get proof. Official documents like marriage certificates are usually available from a government office in the prefecture where the event took place. If it is necessary, write a letter and ask how to get one.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Miller Conway
    Miller Conway | Ross Elliott Miller
    A good divorce attorney should be able to handle this matter for you. The fact that you do not have a copy of your marriage certificate issued in Pakistan is not a key concern. Also, your length of residence in the United States does not appear to be an issue as you are a permanent resident.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 10/19/2011
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