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Do I need a Family or Immigration lawyer?

Chicago, IL |

In 2002 I married US citizen, filled documents for Green Card, but didn't waited for interview and in 2004 left US. In the end of 2005 I contacted US wife asked her to register divorce, after few months she told me, that it is done. In 2006 I have married another girl in Europe and till Today we live together in Europe. Now my (Europe) wife won in DV-2014 and we want to go to live in US, I checked, that I need original divorce document. I contacted my ex-wife in US, she admitted, that she did not registered our divorce in 2005 and herself married in 2009 another guy. She agrees to register divorce, but want, that her husband didn't find this. How to solve this problem?
1. We both have two spouses and I live outside US (how to cancel first marriage)?
2. Will I get Green Card under DV-2014?

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Attorney answers 5


It is not clear from your question whether you actually got a divorce decree overseas and just asked your wife to register the judgement in her state, or whether you did nothing to get a divorce and expected you wife to do it all for you. If you had a valid divorce decree anywhere, then you were divorced and able to remarry. If not, then either 1. your second marriage is not valid or 2. you are married to two women at once (a bigamist). Even if bigamy is legal where you married your second wife, this second marriage will not be recognized under U.S. laws. It will not give you any immigration benefit, and being a bigamist could count against you for future immigration benefits.

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Probably you need both. This sounds like a mess. My own practice is in family law, so I'll limit myself to comment on that aspect of it.

If you weren't actually, legally divorced when you married your second wife, then under the laws of most U.S. states, your second marriage is void - it's like you and your second wife never married at all, because you could not legally do so while you were still married to your first wife. The same is true for her marriage to a new man. It's not clear from the question whether the divorce case was ever finalized. You need to consult with an attorney in the state where that divorce may have taken place, to determine whether and when you actually were divorced. This will then likely have serious consequences for your immigration status and options.

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Our divorce procedure never even started.

Jay Bodzin

Jay Bodzin


Then you're still married - and what you thought was your current marriage, I'm afraid, is void. If you want to be married to your current partner, you'll have to finalize your divorce to your first wife and marry again.


You need may family law attorney who will file and obtain a divorce on your behalf. You and your ex wife are still considered married to each other. Consequently your marriages to your present pushes are null and void, since neither of you had the right to remarry in the first place , without having been released from your first marriages by a divorce.

2. Not only you will NOT get a DV GC through your present wife, until
And unless you obtain a divorce from the first one and remarry this one.

Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.



Reg. 2 what I afraid of, that after divorce and remarrying I will not receive Green Card, because under US law I committed a crime.


I agree with my colleagues. You either need both or one who practices in both areas of law,

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.


You need one attorney who practices in both areas of law, or two attorneys. If you need a referral to an attorney who practices in both areas, feel free to to contact me.

As for the divorces part - It is unclear whether you think you have a US divorce. If you believe you have a US divorce, the information would be available in the county where the divorce took place. If you do not have a US divorce, there would be no recording of the divorce unless required for immigration purposes. From what you describe, it does not appear that you were ever divorced from your first wife but an attorney will be better able to investigate for you. Please hire counsel.

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