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What is the procedure of 'Mutual Consent' divorce of a couple staying in USA, married in India?

Sunnyvale, CA |

- Marriage Registered in India in 2007.
- Have a 5 year old.
- This is mutual consented and we have agreed on the child custody.
- Can the divorce proceedings be done in USA and will the papers be valid in India? Or are there some procedure to validate the divorce from USA in India? Or can this only be done in India? (We both work in Sunnyvale.)

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Attorney answers 2


First of all, the place of marriage is not relevant, so long as it was a legally valid marriage under the laws of the place where the marriage took place.

If you both reside in the US, then the next step is figuring out what state should have jurisdiction. If you both live in California, then the answer is clearly California. If you live in two states, then you can discuss this between you, and you may want to consult with attorneys from the two jurisdictions to see what the differences in their laws and procedures might be.

If you are getting a divorce in California by "mutual consent," then the next question is whether by "mutual consent" you mean the entire agreement or simply mutually wanting to get divorced. Because you do not need mutual consent merely to get divorced, it only takes one person to do that.

One of you will have to file for a divorce. The other could/should file a Response, but oftentimes they don't, they just let the court enter their default.

You will have to exchange lists of your assets, debts, and expenses. This is called your Preliminary Declarations of Disclosure.

If you have terms upon which you agree, then you will need to put them into a Marital Settlement Agreement. You will have several key points that you MUST address, especially in view of the fact that you have a child; if you miss them, your proposed judgment will be rejected.

There is a good deal of other paperwork that needs to be done, as well, but this is the most difficult of them.

You can find guidance on the court's website ( or you can hire a paralegal to prepare papers for you, or you can hire an attorney who could also give you legal advice (which a paralegal cannot do).

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.


You can file the divorce here in CA if you have been a legal resident here in CA for at least 6 months prior to filing the divorce. You don't need to be a citizen here and your marriage in India does not make a difference regarding filing here in CA. As to India's recognition, that is a question for someone who is licensed to practice law in India.