Do I have to get a divorce if I married in Mexico but live in the USA?

Asked over 2 years ago - Houston, TX

If I wanted to marry someone else do I have to get a divorce? Does a marriage in Mexico count here in the United States?

My husband and I married in Mexico, but I live in the United States. He's from Mexico, while I was born in the US. My husband has been incarcerated in the US for 4 years now.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Min Gyu Kim

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The marriage legally conducted in a foreign country is valid in America, and vice versa. With that said, in order to marry someone else, you must first get a divorce and/or invalidation of the prior marriage, if applicable. If you decide to marry someone while you are legally married to someone else, than your marriage is void, not just voidable. Not to mention criminal implication.

    With that said, in Texas, the only requirement to file a divorce is fairly simple. You have to have been domicile (fancy term for being a resident) in Texas for 6 months and a resident of the county you are filing the divorce at for at least 90 days. Once that is met, you can file for divorce.

    The only difficulty in your case will be the service made on your ex-spouse in jail (simple but it requires an extra step) and whether or not your ex-spouse will be wiling to sign off on the divorce. Due process requries that he gets served personally with the divorce so it is a step you have to undergo.

    Also, once you are able to get the divorce, you must wait 30 days after the divorce to marry. Texas requires the 30 days period to be applicable subsequent a divorce. If violated, your marriage is voidable, not void.

    Sorry for the vague answer, but as you may be aware, more facts are needed.

    Consult a local Houston family law attorney to assist you. My law firm is based in Houston and focus primarily on family law and bankruptcy. My contact is listed on my profile and below.

    Also, if you are financially eligble, Houston offers great legal clinics and legal associations where attorneys volunteer their time and service.

    Good luck and wish you success.

    Min Gyu Kim (Peter)

    The foregoing are comments to a general question of law, and should in no way be interpreted as legal advice. This... more
  2. William Tyler Moore Jr


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, you need to get divorced here in Texas. If your marriage was valid in Mexico, it is valid here. A divorce is necessary.

    I am not intending this to be legal advice, because I don't know the particulars of your situation. Call me if you... more
  3. William Charles Rosenfelt


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I'm not licensed to practice law in Texas. However, it is my understanding that foreign divorce decrees can be, and frequently are, dissolved in the United States. I know that this would not be a problem in Florida. Any Texas lawyers care to clarify what the State of Texas' position is on foreign divorce decrees?

    Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the... more
  4. J Charles Ferrari

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A marriage in a foreign country is still valid in the USA. If you want to marry someone else, then yes, you must get divorced first.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not... more

Related Topics

Divorce and remarriage

The effects of remarriage after divorce depend on your situation. Two areas of note are post-divorce waiting periods and support payments.

Avvo Staff

Remarrying After Divorce: What to Know

For many divorcees, starting over can be one of the most daunting tasks after a divorce. But life goes on, and in some cases, the timing could be perfect for you to walk down the aisle... more

International divorce

Every country has its own divorce laws, and therefore divorces involving the crossing of national boundaries present added complications.

Anthony Gerard Buono

New York Divorce Jurisdiction

In order for the State of New York to have jurisdiction over the parties to a divorce action the residency requirements of Domestic Relations Law section 230 must be satisfied. There are a... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

16,449 answers this week

2,227 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

16,449 answers this week

2,227 attorneys answering