Can I get a divorce in the US if I was married overseas? 22 Answers as of July 25, 2013

I came here from India as a dependent to my spouse who is on student visa. He obviously has a heavy loan to repay. My first question is, if we got married in India, can we still get a divorce here? If I seek divorce will I get any alimony and child support (we have a 6 yr old daughter). If I decide to go back to India with my daughter, can we continue to get the child support and alimony? What kind of remuneration can I expect from my husband, given that he still has loads of student loan to repay?

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Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
If you are a resident of New York State, you have the right to get a divorce here even if you were married in a different country. Your ability to receive maintenance (the New York term for alimony) will depend on your ability to earn wages and your dependency on your husband's income. With respect to child support, that will depend on the custody of your daughter. Your ability to collect maintenance and child support may be adversely affected if you decide to return to India. Finally, your husband's student loans may make collection of these amounts (as well as any equitable distribution) difficult. You should contact an experienced attorney with either international law or immigration law experience to assist you.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/17/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
You can divorce here in the US. As for division of the property, in Texas there is an assumption of 50/50 split. The student loans are his debt on two grounds - one debt is contactual and you are not part of that contract; two - he is obviously keeping the education which was paid for with the money borrowed, so he should pay for debt associated with that education. Alimony is a dirty word in Texas. We do not have alimony here. There is "interim support" during the divorce process and there is temporary spousal maintenance post-divorce but it is very limited in time and amount, you have to prove spousal abuse or be married at least 10 years and show you need support to meet your minimum reasonable needs. To put it bluntly, it is available under very limited circumstances and it is very difficult to get. Child support is another matter, there is a presumption of 20% of his net resources per month for one child. Student loans do not detract from the net resources which are defines as income from all sources less single one taxes and a few other items (uniforms, union dues, medical insurance paid for the benefit of the child). Yes, you can get the support awarded, even if you go back to India, but there are two problems with this: one - you assume the court will not restrict your daughter's residence to the US, the State of Texas, or even the County where you live now; two - if you do leave the US and he does not pay, you have to come back to the US to enforce the support order which will be difficult and expensive - the airline travel and hotel could easily eat any money you get from him and if he is vindictive, he would just stop paying again - you would have to fly back again, . . . .
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/11/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
You ask many questions that cannot be answered simply in this forum. I will do my best for what can be answered. Yes, you can get divorced here. As to whether you will get alimony is contingent on many factors including, but not limited to, length of marriage, income, debts, health, etc. Child support is typically paid to the parent who has the child primarily. Relocation will be difficult if your husband objects because it will create a potential situation where he could be cut off from his child. Both alimony and relocation have statutes that govern them and you would be best to consult with an attorney before doing anything.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/10/2011
Law Office of James Lentz
Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
Your issues are too specific to be dealt with in a general manner. Please make an appointment with a local domestic relations attorney who can provide proper guidance.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/8/2011
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
Yes you can get a divorce if you have been in Alabama for six months or more. As to alimony that depends on the number of years you have been married. After a divorce if you get custody of your child you would need permission of the Court to remove her more than 60 miles from where she is currently located at the time of the divorce.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/8/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    As long as you were legally married anywhere, you may obtain a lawful divorce in the State of California. All issues in the case including custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, community property, separate property, and any other legal issue will be resolved according to the California Family Code, and relevant other California Codes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    You ask several questions. Not all of them will I be able to answer. You are in the US with your spouse. Your spouse is here on a student visa. Can you get divorced here in Washington? Yes. As long as you are a resident of the state, you could file here. Your other questions are largely about the financial aspects of your situation. However, they will probably require input from an immigration attorney to answer them. For example: Normally, in a divorce, a court would order child support to be paid. The amount of the child support is normally based on the income of the parties. Your husband is here on a student visa. I am not an immigration attorney. However, I suspect that this means that the amount of "work" your spouse will be allowed to do in the US will be quite limited, based on Federal immigration law. That may create a problem for the state court trying to order child support.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    Yes you can get a divorce here. As long as you have lived in your county for as least 90 days, you may file for divorce in that county. You husband will be required to pay child support in the amount of 20% of his income for the one child. As for your support, now called maintenance, it will depend on other factors that may be discussed in a more private setting. We do offer confidential 30 minute free consultations if you would like to call the office to make an appointment.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    It does not matter where you were married. You may divorce in any state where the court has jurisdiction, which generally requires a residence for 6 months or more in that state and county. Spousal support cannot be determined without a full review of the facts and financial circumstances. You should consult with legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    If you've lived in Oregon for the past six months, you can get a divorce here. You will be entitled to child support and possibly alimony, but the amount depends on your overall economic circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    you can get divorced in CT if you fulfill the one year residency requirement. You can get child support and alimony awards. If you left and he stayed here you would have to bring an enforcement action here if he didn't pay
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    Yes. As long as you were here in Ca for 6 months and in your county for 3 months.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    You probably can get a divorce her, more information is needed like the time you have been in Florida. As far as leaving the US with the children, you would have to see what the judges divorce and child custody orders state.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Your first question is easy: yes. If you are lawfully married, regardless of where the marriage occurred, you can get divorced in the U.S., in any State in which you are a resident (in Nevada, that means you've been here six weeks). All your other questions require information you do not supply, and are best answered in a full consultation with qualified counse
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    In Georgia, one can get a divorce once one party has lived here six months. The location of the marriage doesn't matter. Any divorce involving a child has to address child support and visitation and custody. Whether there is alimony depends on many facts you have not shared. Discuss these details with your lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    California will allow for a divorce as long as you have resided in this state for at least 6 months and in the county where you file for at least 3 months.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    Where you got married is not an issue in obtaining a divorce in Arkansas, but rather residency. To get a divorce in Arkansas you must show that you have been a resident of the state for 60 days and that the grounds for divorce occurred in Arkansas sometime in the past five years. Child support is factored on the non-custodial parent's net income after state and federal taxes, not after debts. His student loans will not be used to reduce the child support. Alimony is generally only awarded after ten years of marriage. If you move out of the state you may still receive your child support payments through the Arkansas office of Child Support Enforcement.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    You can get a divorce here in the US even if you were married in India. If you have custody of the child you should be entitled to child support. The child support order would not be invalid if you go back to India, but if he doesn't pay you'll have to enforce the order here. In regard to your other questions, you'll need to consult with a family law attorney to discuss your situation in detail.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Yes you can get divorced here in Washington.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    You can get a divorce here. The Courts will recognize a valid marriage elsewhere. You will receive child support if you are the primary parent. Spousal maintenance (alimony) is based on many factors including one's need and the other's ability to pay coupled with the length of your marriage. You will receive these obligations regardless of where you live. I can't answer your property division question without more information. Washington Courts divide assets/liability fairly and equitably.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Linda C. Garrett Law
    Linda C. Garrett Law | Linda Garrett
    Answer: 1) Yes, can get divorced in US if you satisfy jurisdiction requirements. For instance, to divorce in San Francisco, you have to had lived in California at least 6 months and lived in the county of SF for 3 months; 2) whether or not married, you are legally entitled to ask for child support on behalf of your child; 3) If the court orders father to pay child and spousal support, you are entitled to continue to receive the amounts stated on the order as stated on the order. For instance, child support ends when child turns 18 AND has graduated high school; whereas, spousal support ends with the court order sends it ends-no sooner/no later; 4) Regarding "remuneration" not an easy answer. I recommend you speak to an attorney since various factors affect the final figure, such as a) # of kids; 2) years married; 3) your income; 4) his income; 5) percentage of visitation, etc. Note: student loan payments will not be a factor for the court to consider when determining the amount of child support. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Yes, as long as you and/or your husband otherwise meet the residency requirements. In Colorado, that means one of you has to have been domiciled (not merely "present") in Colorado for 90 days before filing the divorce petition. Assuming you have a valid green card or long term visa to be in the US, you should be able to satisfy that residency requirement. If the child lives with you the majority of the time, the father will be required to pay you child support. Whether you will receive spousal support (alimony) depends on the overall financial facts and circumstances that involve balancing your needs against your husband's ability to pay, under some broad, general principles. There are no fixed rules and each case is different. If child support and/or alimony is awarded, that duty would not stop simply because you choose to return to India - but, it could be more difficult to enforce those obligations from India. You need to consider that in allocation of parental responsibilities the Court probably will not give you unilateral authority to take the child back to India and you will probably need the obtain court permission to do that in the future. Your husband's student loans are only one part of the overall financial picture, so it isn't possible to say how that will affect the final terms for the divorce. You need to consult an attorney to get a more informed opinion of what to expect after evaluation of all the relevant information.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/5/2011
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