DISCLAIMER: THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND MAY NOT BE TOTALLY ACCURATE IN A PARTICULAR CASE. THIS INFORMATION SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED AS BEING LEGAL ADVICE WHATSOEVER. PARTICULAR QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC U.S. STATE OR FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO LEGAL COUNSEL IN THAT JURISDICTION.
RECOGNITION BASED ON COMITY:
A divorce decree issued in a foreign country generally is recognized in a state in the United States on the basis of comity (Hilton v. Guyot, 159 U.S. 113, 163-64 (1895), provided both parties to the divorce received adequate notice, i.e., service of process and, generally, provided one of the parties was a domiciliary in the foreign nation at the time of the divorce. Under the principle of comity, a divorce obtained in another country under the circumstances described above receives “full faith and credit” in all other states and countries that recognize divorce. *
WDA ATTORNEYS FOLLOW “DUE PROCESS” REQUIRED TO FULFILL U.S. REQUIREMENTS FOR A VALID DIVORCE ABROAD INCLUDING:
*COMPLYING WITH THE LAW REQUIREMENT REGARDING THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF ONE OF THE SPOUSES IN COURT.
*THE ABSENT SPOUSE IS REPRESENTED IN HEARING BY AN ATTORNEY WHO WILL APPEAR IN COURT ON HIS/HER BEHALF THROUGH AN SPECIAL, WITNESSED POWER OF ATTORNEY SIGNED BY SPOUSE IN FRONT OF A NOTARY PUBLIC AND AUTHENTICATED BY DOMINICAN CONSULAR OFFICERS IN U.S.
*DIVORCE DECREE IS TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH LANGUAGE BY A SUPREME COURT-CERTIFIED TRANSLATOR; AUTHENTICATED BY FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICERS AND FINALLY TAKEN TO U.S. CONSULATE IN ORDER TO MAKE PERTAINING LEGALIZATIONS REQUIRED BY U.S. AUTHORITIES TO RECOGNIZE THE DIVORCE ABROAD.
Bilateral-uncontested divorces, based on the physical presence of both parties in the divorcing nation, or the physical presence of the petitioner and the voluntary “appearance” by the defendant through an attorney* are held as valid divorces for migratory purposes by U.S. authorities.
U.S. SSA, VA and IRS DETERMINATIONS REGARDING FOREIGN DIVORCES:
There have been a number of determinations by the U.S. Social Security Administration , Veterans Administration , and Internal Revenue Service regarding the validity of foreign divorces based on the laws of the state of residence applicable with respect to claims for benefits. For SSA, see http://www.ssa.gov/. See also, 20 C.F.R. 404.314, SSR 66-1; 20 CFR 404.328(a), 404.1101, and 404.1104, SSR 72-61; 20 CFR 404.335(a), SSR 73-10a; 20 CFR 404.336, SSR 75-16; SSR 61-65; 20 CFR 404.340(c), SSR 88-15c, Section 202(g)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 402(g)(1)(A) (Slessinger v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, 1A Unempl. Ins. Rep. (CCH), 17,843 (1st Cir. 1987). (Cunningham v. Harris, 658 F.2d 239, 243 (4th Cir. 1981).; Thompson v. Harris, 504 F. Supp. 653, 654 (D. Mass. 1980); Lugot v. Harris, 499 F. Supp. 1118 (D. Nev. 1980). For Veterans Administration, see 27 FR 6281, July 3, 1962, as amended by 35 FR 16831, October 31, 1970; 40 FR 53581, November 19, 1975; 52 FR 19349, May 22, 1987. For the IRS, see Estate of Felt v. Comm”r, 54 T.C.M. (CCH) 528 (1987). It is our understanding that when obtained in good faith and not a sham for tax-avoidance purpose, the Internal Revenue Service recognizes foreign divorces.”*