Q:

How do I get a divorce if I got married in Jamaica?

A:

Quick Answer

A divorce for a marriage performed in another country can be granted by a U.S. state court or a court in that country, says divorce support expert Cathy Meyer for About.com. Obtaining a divorce for a marriage in Jamaica depends on the current citizenship and residency status of both parties and the type of divorce sought.

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Full Answer

A U.S. citizen can petition for an "ex parte" divorce, which happens when only one spouse takes part in the proceedings, notes Lawyers.com. A court in the state where the petitioner has residency or a permanent home can grant a divorce even if it has no jurisdiction over the other party. Written notice should be given to the other party by someone authorized to do so, but there may be other options when the other party's whereabouts are unknown. If the absent spouse challenges the divorce, a court in another state might invalidate the divorce if it finds there was fraud or collusion involved.

A divorce decree issued in another country is usually recognized by the United States if both parties received adequate notice and one of the parties is living in that country at the time of divorce, states Meyer. Many state courts have found that a foreign divorce is invalid if both parties participate in the proceedings but neither is living in the foreign country.

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