Are guam divorces really legitimate?

Asked almost 4 years ago - Lexington, SC

I want to know if Guam divorces are really legitimate since Guam is a republic of the US. Also, are Mexican, deminican republic, and/or Nevada divorces legal in South Carolina?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Michael Edward Atwater

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . Although Guam and Nevada are U.S., that alone is not determinative of the validity of a divorce. Marriage and divorce is governed by state law. Generally, a divorce obtained in another state or U.S. territory is considered valid in all other states and U.S. territories under the constitutional mandate of "full faith and credit" to the judgments of other territories and states.

    However, if a person is a legal resident or is legally domiciled in one state or territory, that person may not go to another State where they are not legally domiciled (while maintaining residency in the former state) for the purpose of getting a "quickie divorce".

    The following law has been enacted in SC and addresses the issues which you have raised in your query:

    UNIFORM DIVORCE RECOGNITION ACT
    SECTION 20-3-410. Short title.
    This article may be cited as the "Uniform Divorce Recognition Act."

    SECTION 20-3-420. Nonresident divorce shall be void if parties were domiciled here.
    A divorce from the bonds of matrimony obtained in another jurisdiction shall be of no force or effect in this State if both parties to the marriage were domiciled in this State at the time the proceeding for the divorce was commenced.

    SECTION 20-3-430. Prima facie evidence of domicile.
    Proof that a person obtaining a divorce from the bonds of matrimony in another jurisdiction was (a) domiciled in this State within twelve months prior to the commencement of the proceeding therefor and resumed residence in this State within eighteen months after the date of his departure therefrom or (b) at all times after his departure from this State and until his return maintained a place of residence within this State shall be prima facie evidence that the person was domiciled in this State when the divorce proceeding was commenced. But the provisions of this section shall not apply in cases of divorce when the decree of divorce was issued prior to June 3, 1950.

    SECTION 20-3-440. Construction.
    This article shall be so interpreted and construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states which enact substantially identical legislation.

    DISCLAIMER – LEGAL ADVICE


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    My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed to practice in the appropriate jurisdiction where the legal issue may be filed or in the state where the law applies.

  2. Fred Wallace Woods Jr.

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Yes. A divorce in the court of any U.S. state or territory is considered to be a valid divorce. Likewise a divorce in Mexico or other country is generally considered to be legally binding in the United States.

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