American Divorce Law For Foreigners - Need Help???
Q: I hope someone will give me an advice. I am a polish citizen now, married, and wish to go to USA, where lives my mother, who is a US citizen. I plan to apply first for work visa, and then a green card. My question - is it possible to make a divorce in US as I am not a US citizen? I do not want to start the process in Poland, till I do not know the American law, if and how I can continue it in States. If I can make a divorce in States - what are the terms, time needed, do I need a lawyer? How much would I pay for one? What is the required time of stay in States when I can start to think about applying for a divorce? Is it possible the American judge will not give me one? Thank you for any advice
A: -The question I'd try to get answered first is whether Poland would even recognize your US divorce. Poland has its own divorce laws, which don't allow divorce just because one party wants it, and it's not uncommon for a divorce to be denied. If you get a divorce in the US that a Polish court won't honor, you're still married. -For divorce purposes, I'd say residency under state law is what matters. Arizona's requirement is that you have been living in the state for 90 days. Proving residency normally amounts to proving that you have been living in the state: you've been receiving mail or paying rent there, you got a state driver's license, things like that. Whether you can qualify for residency for divorce purposes on a non-immigrant visa is something only an Arizona divorce lawyer can advise you on. Arizona has "no-fault" divorce; that is, the only grounds for divorce is that your marriage has "irretrievably broken down". If your wife agrees, and you can produce that agreement in a form acceptable to the court, that shouldn't be a problem. If she doesn't agree, or you can't produce her agreement, the court may deny the divorce. How to present her agreement in an acceptable form, or proceed with the matter if her agreement can't be secured, is something that only an Arizona divorce lawyer can advise you on. Arizona is also a "community property" state; that is, any property acquired while you were married, except for certain specifically defined kinds of property, belongs equally to both of you and has to be divided fairly on divorce. Whether Arizona's community property laws will reach property you and she own in Poland, and whether any settlement you and she have agreed on already is fair and will stand up to court scrutiny is a subject that only an Arizona divorce lawyer can advise you on. You really need an Arizona divorce lawyer to proceed with this.