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Does a previous marriage already dissolved in another country need to be dissolved in the US too before starting immigration proceedings?

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Asking for a friend. Her first marriage took place years ago in Brazil, where it was dissolved before she ever came to US.

 

After she arrived in US, she married and divorced other people another 2nd and 3rd time.

 

Now she here in the US, on her 4th marriage to a US citizen. She wants to start immigrations proceedings to get her green card through marriage now to the US citizen.  From her first marriage, she has official documentation from the Brazilian government that her first marriage had been solomnized and later dissolved/divorced in Brazil.

 

She claims she has been to 2 immigration lawyers that say this documentation in not enough... They both say that even though she had been married and granted a divorce in Brazil, before she ever came here, that she must get another divorce in the US courts and REMARRY her current husband before starting her immigration applications.

 

Isn't this incorrect? Isn't a divorce that was granted abroad, before ever entering the US, valid? Why would she have to get a second divorce for the same marriage? The first marriage was never even registered in the US...

Edited by Brazil2019

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21 minutes ago, Brazil2019 said:

Asking for a friend. Her first marriage took place years ago in Brazil, where it was dissolved before she ever came to US.

 

After she arrived in US, she married and divorced other people another 2nd and 3rd time.

 

Now she here in the US, on her 4th marriage to a US citizen. She wants to start immigrations proceedings to get her green card through marriage now to the US citizen.  From her first marriage, she has official documentation from the Brazilian government that her first marriage had been solomnized and later dissolved/divorced in Brazil.

 

She claims she has been to 2 immigration lawyers that say this documentation in not enough... They both say that even though she had been married and granted a divorce in Brazil, before she ever came here, that she must get another divorce in the US courts and REMARRY her current husband before starting her immigration applications.

 

Isn't this incorrect? Isn't a divorce that was granted abroad, before ever entering the US, valid? Why would she have to get a second divorce for the same marriage? The first marriage was never even registered in the US...

Marriage anywhere is married in the USA, divorce anywhere is divorced in the USA. So your friend is good as long as she has the documentation to show she is divorced

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As long it is certified then you are good.  One divorce per marriage.


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If she has a certified copy of each divorce decree and a certified translation of any document not already in English, then she has the necessary documentation as evidence she is free to marry.  Something is wrong here, either in YOUR understanding of the circumstances or in her explanation to the lawyers.  Since the marriage in Brazil was the first marriage, all subsequent marriages would have been illegal, (bigamy or polygamy) unless the first marriage was legally terminated by death, annulment, or divorce.

 

If a lawyer told her she needs a divorce NOW from her first husband, AFTER she is married to her 4th, then SOMETHING has been misunderstood or miscommunicated.  ANY lawyer would know that married is married and divorced is divorced, no matter WHERE the marriages or divorces take place.


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