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Married in California, never a resident there nor elsewhere in the US, need help on how to register a foreign divorce

Sonora, CA |

My now ex wife and I are from Europe, and a few years ago decided to get married in California, though we were not residents there nor elsewhere in the US.

We have now divorced in our country of residence, and would need to know how to proceed in order to have the foreign divorce recognized in California.

I have verified with the local US consulate, but divorces are dealt with by States and not by Federal government, and browsing the Internet did not help too much.

Thanks for any help you might have.

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Attorney answers 5


If you were married in Europe, the State of California would recognize, the same goes for your divorce. You are divorced. You may need an official certified copy from the Court in Europe, but that is only IF the issue arises here in the United States. Best of luck.


There is no registry in California for foreign divorces (or marriages). A certified copy of the divorce is all that is required if need be in the future.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


I am not licensed in California. I defer to what my colleagues told you. Please consult with an attorney in your locality. I would only add that the situation in NY would be treated similarly. Best.

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This looks the same in most US states: a certified and translated version of the foreign divorce decree should be all that you need.

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Thanks, what is unclear is whether this certified and translated version of the foreign divorce decree would need to be registered or deposited somewhere so that the records would show that we are effectively divorced, and this is the crux of the problem. It appears from other answers that given there is no registry for foreign divorces in California, then we would have to keep the paperwork to ourselves and state that we are divorced, although the official system will always report us as married, because that is what is listed in the California registry. This is where there is confusion on the matter. Can you confirm if what I have said above is correct? Thanks for your answers


I am a former European Attorney that now practices in California as a California Attorney .
I can help u to resolve that issue immediately.

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