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Question about Divorce in Ghana

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Filed: Country: Ghana
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Hi everyone! New to VJ but I've been lurking for a while.

I have been dating a guy from Ghana for some time and it has reached the point in our relationship where I'm thinking about marrying him in the future. In the relationship he was in before he met me, he had a child with the woman and performed a traditional marriage at the baby's outdooring. He has had multiple visas in the past, for short stays, to a few different countries including the U.S. In all cases put down "married", so it is now "on the record" with the U.S. embassy here. He left her, and no longer considers her his wife, but I doubt his considerations will be enough to satisfy an immigration officer.

In order for us to get married, he will have to divorce the woman. My question is, since traditional marriage is recognized as legitimate on some U.S. forms, do they also recognize a traditional divorce as legitimate? And how would one prove a traditional divorce since it would happen outside of the legal system? Does he have to go through some kind of legal process as well to satisfy U.S. immigration to demonstrate he's no longer married to her? What would that be? I'm just wondering what's the best way to help him go about this.

Thanks for your help!

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ghana
Timeline

I am just going to make an uneducated suggestion on this one. Maybe the registry that authorizes legal marriages can provide a letter for him stating that there is no record of a legalized marriage between him and the woman in question. In addition, you should include a letter from him and maybe his family explaining the type of marriage he was in and their method for ending the marriage. Also, if this is a Muslim marriage be sure to become very familiar with what is involved so that you have an assurance that he is not interested in having multiple wives. Consider attempting to contact the NVC (if you can get past the csr's to reach a supervisor) to see if they will tell you what you need to provide to prove that he is not legally married. As stated in my opening sentence, I am not educated on this situation, however, do whatever you can do to become very educated on what is really going on so that you are not blindsided or invest too much time in a situation that doesn't meet your expectations. I am hoping all works out for you.


Staying strong and patient in love and faith!

http://ghanaspouse.blogspot.com/

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ghana
Timeline

Traditional marriages don't have certificates of marriage and are good in Ghana but the U.S. don't recongnise tradtional marriages and a legal marriage. A friend of mine had a traditional one in Ghana but when he filed papers for her he had to file as a financee application....

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Filed: Country: Ghana
Timeline

Traditional marriages don't have certificates of marriage and are good in Ghana but the U.S. don't recongnise tradtional marriages and a legal marriage. A friend of mine had a traditional one in Ghana but when he filed papers for her he had to file as a financee application....

There's a line in the DV lottery instructions (I applied on his behalf last year) that makes me suspicious:

"On your entry you must list your spouse (husband or wife) and all unmarried children under 21 years of

age. You must list your spouse even if you are currently separated from him/her, unless you are legally

separated (i.e., there is a written agreement recognized by a court or a court order). If you are legally

separated or divorced, you do not need to list your former spouse." I can't remember where I read it, but I remember reading that common-law marriages and traditional marriages count as "married" in these cases.

Also, haven't people been rejected for K-1's because they showed pictures from the traditional engagement and the embassy mistook it for a marriage ceremony?

And since they already have him on record twice as having been married when they issued his prior visas, wouldn't they demand to see proof of divorce in order for him to be eligible to apply as my fiance?

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ghana
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There's a line in the DV lottery instructions (I applied on his behalf last year) that makes me suspicious:

"On your entry you must list your spouse (husband or wife) and all unmarried children under 21 years of

age. You must list your spouse even if you are currently separated from him/her, unless you are legally

separated (i.e., there is a written agreement recognized by a court or a court order). If you are legally

separated or divorced, you do not need to list your former spouse." I can't remember where I read it, but I remember reading that common-law marriages and traditional marriages count as "married" in these cases.

Also, haven't people been rejected for K-1's because they showed pictures from the traditional engagement and the embassy mistook it for a marriage ceremony?

And since they already have him on record twice as having been married when they issued his prior visas, wouldn't they demand to see proof of divorce in order for him to be eligible to apply as my fiance?

I would also be concerned if the US Embassy has previous paperwork from him where he indicated he was married. Again, I think you should be prepared to provide an explanation and paperwork that is counter to what he has already reported. Remember that Ghana is one of the high fraud countries and it is important that they overturn as many stones that they can find. The responsibility will be on you and your fiance to prove your case. If you have a question about they may also - do the background work now. If it does not become an issue with them at least you will know that all is well for you to marry him.

Staying strong and patient in love and faith!

http://ghanaspouse.blogspot.com/

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ghana
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Yeah there is alot of scam there from some and since he has an odd situation and things it is something I would want a background check on... if you read the posts here before there sometimes traditionally married which is not legally recognized in the states but in the families. and sometimes only marry to be able to bring rest of family to the states. Don't know much bout your situation but looks complicated and scary and trust me his process is hard enough without even more complications...Best of Luck...

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ghana
Timeline

Hi GhQuestions,

I have a friend who was married traditionally but both agreed that the marriage will not work so they went their separate ways. My friend finds his\her way to the US and after sometime falls in love with a USC and they marry.At the interview, it was revealed that since he\she was married he/she had to procure the divorce decree. Problem is that not all traditional marriages are registered and there is no way to prove when the marriage is dissolved. Long story short, my friend had to had his/her dad write a letter stating that he was there when marriage was contracted but he is also aware that marriage was dissolved since the husband/wife's people performed customary rites that the marriage had been dissolved. The former spouse had to also write a letter to attest of the same. both were signed and had to be notarized by the court in the city where the marriage took place. It then was brought to Accra for the Judicial Service to place their seal of approval on it and further, the Ghana Embassy in Dc had to also endorse it.

It is a huge headache that said friend went through to acquire all of this. So if this man is willing to prove to you that he has truly left said wife, then my suggestion is you have to talk with him that this is the process. Also, he has a child, the courts in Ghana has to be satisfied that he is taking care of his responsibility. I would add my voice of caution as others have already. Open your eyes and if something does not feel right do not dismiss it.

Good luck


Marriage: 09-12-2009

USCIS

4-26-10 Sent of I-130

10-07-10 Approved

10-12-10 Received hardcopy of NOA2

NVC

10-12-10: NVC has application but case number yet to be assigned.

10-18-10: Case number assigned.

10-19-10: Provided both email addresses

10-23-10: DS-3032 emailed; no response

10-28-10: Received IIN, dithering around instead of paying the fee

10-30-10: DS3032 Kit and I-864 AOS review fee ($88) online payment; In Process

11-03-10: I-864 AOS status 'PAID"; printed cover sheet and mailed I-846EZ package

11-04-10: I-864EZ AOS received and signed by N. Visa Center

11-05-10: DS-230 IV fee ($404) online payment

11-17-10: AOS entered into the system

12-03-10: IV fee paid ($404); In Process

12-06-10: DS-230 IV status 'PAID',

12-07-10: IV package mailed out

12-08-10: DS-230 IV package delivery; signed by N. Visa Center

12-14-10: DS230 entered into system; yay

12-29-10: SIF

12-30-10: Case Completed @ NVC

Total days @ NVC:79 I-130 to Case Complete 249 days

Consulate

08-25-11: Consulate Interview Schedule

xxxx: Medicals

10-20-11: Interview 8:30AM Need Co-sponsor

11-17-11: Visa granted

12-09-11: Picked up visa from Accra Consulate

filsm5.png

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WZs0m5.png

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Filed: Country: Ghana
Timeline

Hi GhQuestions,

I have a friend who was married traditionally but both agreed that the marriage will not work so they went their separate ways. My friend finds his\her way to the US and after sometime falls in love with a USC and they marry.At the interview, it was revealed that since he\she was married he/she had to procure the divorce decree. Problem is that not all traditional marriages are registered and there is no way to prove when the marriage is dissolved. Long story short, my friend had to had his/her dad write a letter stating that he was there when marriage was contracted but he is also aware that marriage was dissolved since the husband/wife's people performed customary rites that the marriage had been dissolved. The former spouse had to also write a letter to attest of the same. both were signed and had to be notarized by the court in the city where the marriage took place. It then was brought to Accra for the Judicial Service to place their seal of approval on it and further, the Ghana Embassy in Dc had to also endorse it.

It is a huge headache that said friend went through to acquire all of this. So if this man is willing to prove to you that he has truly left said wife, then my suggestion is you have to talk with him that this is the process. Also, he has a child, the courts in Ghana has to be satisfied that he is taking care of his responsibility. I would add my voice of caution as others have already. Open your eyes and if something does not feel right do not dismiss it.

Good luck

Yeah, I know Ghana is one of the places where they inspect every detail, which is why I want to make sure this is taken care of ahead of time. Is there any mechanism to do this legally through "wajo"?

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Nigeria
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Traditional marriage in sub Saharan are a tricky thing , they play against you in both directions. K1 filers have been told to get a cr1 if they show traditional pics, traditional filers have been told to get a k1 if they file for a cr1. The real issue is he has claimed married to the US government and will now have to prove desolation of that marriage to them. Is there a way he can do a public posting announcing the end of the marriage in some legal fashion.


This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ghana
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Traditional marriage in sub Saharan are a tricky thing , they play against you in both directions. K1 filers have been told to get a cr1 if they show traditional pics, traditional filers have been told to get a k1 if they file for a cr1. The real issue is he has claimed married to the US government and will now have to prove desolation of that marriage to them. Is there a way he can do a public posting announcing the end of the marriage in some legal fashion.

Nope. What I outlined was what the USCIS requested from my friend. So his parents will have to attest he is no longer married and then you will have to file a dissolution of marriage at a court in the region where the traditional marriage took place. then bring it to judicial services in Accra and they will affix their stamp and letter to it. Then, also have the Ghana Embassy attest to it as well.


Marriage: 09-12-2009

USCIS

4-26-10 Sent of I-130

10-07-10 Approved

10-12-10 Received hardcopy of NOA2

NVC

10-12-10: NVC has application but case number yet to be assigned.

10-18-10: Case number assigned.

10-19-10: Provided both email addresses

10-23-10: DS-3032 emailed; no response

10-28-10: Received IIN, dithering around instead of paying the fee

10-30-10: DS3032 Kit and I-864 AOS review fee ($88) online payment; In Process

11-03-10: I-864 AOS status 'PAID"; printed cover sheet and mailed I-846EZ package

11-04-10: I-864EZ AOS received and signed by N. Visa Center

11-05-10: DS-230 IV fee ($404) online payment

11-17-10: AOS entered into the system

12-03-10: IV fee paid ($404); In Process

12-06-10: DS-230 IV status 'PAID',

12-07-10: IV package mailed out

12-08-10: DS-230 IV package delivery; signed by N. Visa Center

12-14-10: DS230 entered into system; yay

12-29-10: SIF

12-30-10: Case Completed @ NVC

Total days @ NVC:79 I-130 to Case Complete 249 days

Consulate

08-25-11: Consulate Interview Schedule

xxxx: Medicals

10-20-11: Interview 8:30AM Need Co-sponsor

11-17-11: Visa granted

12-09-11: Picked up visa from Accra Consulate

filsm5.png

event.png

WZs0m5.png

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ghana
Timeline

Traditional marriage in sub Saharan are a tricky thing , they play against you in both directions. K1 filers have been told to get a cr1 if they show traditional pics, traditional filers have been told to get a k1 if they file for a cr1. The real issue is he has claimed married to the US government and will now have to prove desolation of that marriage to them. Is there a way he can do a public posting announcing the end of the marriage in some legal fashion.

Nope. What I outlined was what the USCIS requested from my friend. So his parents will have to attest he is no longer married and then you will have to file a dissolution of marriage at a court in the region where the traditional marriage took place. then bring it to judicial services in Accra and they will affix their stamp and letter to it. Then, also have the Ghana Embassy attest to it as well.


Marriage: 09-12-2009

USCIS

4-26-10 Sent of I-130

10-07-10 Approved

10-12-10 Received hardcopy of NOA2

NVC

10-12-10: NVC has application but case number yet to be assigned.

10-18-10: Case number assigned.

10-19-10: Provided both email addresses

10-23-10: DS-3032 emailed; no response

10-28-10: Received IIN, dithering around instead of paying the fee

10-30-10: DS3032 Kit and I-864 AOS review fee ($88) online payment; In Process

11-03-10: I-864 AOS status 'PAID"; printed cover sheet and mailed I-846EZ package

11-04-10: I-864EZ AOS received and signed by N. Visa Center

11-05-10: DS-230 IV fee ($404) online payment

11-17-10: AOS entered into the system

12-03-10: IV fee paid ($404); In Process

12-06-10: DS-230 IV status 'PAID',

12-07-10: IV package mailed out

12-08-10: DS-230 IV package delivery; signed by N. Visa Center

12-14-10: DS230 entered into system; yay

12-29-10: SIF

12-30-10: Case Completed @ NVC

Total days @ NVC:79 I-130 to Case Complete 249 days

Consulate

08-25-11: Consulate Interview Schedule

xxxx: Medicals

10-20-11: Interview 8:30AM Need Co-sponsor

11-17-11: Visa granted

12-09-11: Picked up visa from Accra Consulate

filsm5.png

event.png

WZs0m5.png

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