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Ugly_American

Best divorce strategy for my currently married/separated Filipina girlfriend

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I’ve used this site in the past for successfully marrying my now ex-wife. Everything is fine and both she and I are doing fine with a lovely son with whom we share costody here in the US. Honestly, she’s very smart, a great mother, and a hard working nurse. I have no complaints. 

 

Now I’m back here for advice again, and yes, another Filipina. What can I say? I have a love of the culture there. This time however, it’s a bit more complicated. 

 

My current girlfriend was married 8 years ago and has a 6 year old boy. Three years ago her husband abandoned her and the boy and hasn’t been heard from since. The biggest problem is that divorce is difficult in the Philippines. 

 

My questions are:

 

1). What is the quickest and least expensive way to obtain a divorce? My girlfriend is a 38 year old certified school teacher with 17 years experience working at this profession. She has supported her family from a young age. Her English is very good and having successfully gone through the K-1 process with my ex I’m confident that my girlfriend can obtain a tourist visa. My thought is that she could come visit me in the US and obtain a divorce here. Then she could return to the Philippines and I could either travel there and marry her or simply apply for a K-1. This seems the quickest and simplest way to deal with the divorce issue. I’ve read stories of people spending $10k-$40k on legal fees while trying to obtain an annulment in the Philippines. And also it may require 1-4 years.  I don’t have the money or patience for that. Flying her here on a tourist visa sounds so much better. Has anyone here done this?

 

2). Once divorced (assuming we did it in the US) would it be better to marry her here right after the divorce and then have her return to the Philippines to properly file an  IR-1 / CR-1 Visa or would it be better to send her back as my fiancé and file for a K-1? I read the pluses and minuses section of this web site. I think the  IR-1 / CR-1 Visa is less expensive and in theory if we married she could fly to the Philippines after married and return somewhat soon. This seems almost better because she would be here with me during the processing (right?), however a K-1 fiance visa would get processed faster. 

 

Thanks for any advice or insight. my most important concern isn’t the cost of the varying USCIS forms, but mostly that she be able to live here with me sooner than later. 

 

Thanks!

 

 

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I will leave the official details up to other experts in this area concerning divorce procedures in the Philippines, but just getting a divorce somehow in the US, she would have to ultimately got her document from the Philippines showing she is officially divorced, and as you stated it is difficult and expensive and time consuming. This won't be "quick" I wouldn't say no matter what honestly.


08/15/2014 : Met Online

06/30/2016 : I-129F Packet Sent

07/08/2016 : NOA 1 Received

08/25/2016 : NOA 2 Received (48 days)

11/08/2016 : Interview - APPROVED!

11/18/2016 : Visa in hand

11/23/2016 : POE - Dallas, Texas

From sending of I-129F petiton to POE - 146 days.

 

02/03/2017 - Married 

02/24/2017 - AOS packet sent

06/01/2017 - EAD/AP Combo Card Received in mail

12/06/2017 - I-485 Approved

12/14/2017 - Green Card Received in mail - No Interview

 

 

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I think she will still need documents from the appropriate authorities in Philippines that she's divorced. How will she divorce him in the US on a tourist Visa? I don't know much about Philippines customs so I'll defer further to others.

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One big problem. She must meet residency requirements (usually) to be able to divorce. You aren't a resident if you're on a tourist visa. So, it might not work. Some states may not have residency requirements for divorce, but I believe most do. I'd check into your state laws on that. Also, if you two are dating then her getting a tourist visa might be a bit harder as they might think she has immigrant intent especially if they ask about what her plans are. She'd have to disclose she wants to get a divorce in the United States from her Philippine husband and that's a pretty big red flag for overstaying. 

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21 minutes ago, Ben&Zian said:

she would have to ultimately got her document from the Philippines showing she is officially divorced

I’ve heard that the USCIS honors stateside divorces. I obviously need to dig deeper. I really hope i can find a better solution than spending $25k on a Filipino lawyer and waiting 4 years for legal proceedings. 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Ugly_American said:

I’ve heard that the USCIS honors stateside divorces. I obviously need to dig deeper. I really hope i can find a better solution than spending $25k on a Filipino lawyer and waiting 4 years for legal proceedings. 

 

Definitely dig deeper because I've never heard of that, but, perhaps it could be. But that is also just USCIS, will the embassy in Manila accept it? I'm guessing no since they require official Philippines documents like the NBI clearance, CENOMAR/CEMAR and all.

 

And yes, it's time consuming and expensive I've heard.

 

@Cyberfx1024 , you heard of this or have more specific advice about the situation?

 

Editing to also ask @geowrian

Edited by Ben&Zian

08/15/2014 : Met Online

06/30/2016 : I-129F Packet Sent

07/08/2016 : NOA 1 Received

08/25/2016 : NOA 2 Received (48 days)

11/08/2016 : Interview - APPROVED!

11/18/2016 : Visa in hand

11/23/2016 : POE - Dallas, Texas

From sending of I-129F petiton to POE - 146 days.

 

02/03/2017 - Married 

02/24/2017 - AOS packet sent

06/01/2017 - EAD/AP Combo Card Received in mail

12/06/2017 - I-485 Approved

12/14/2017 - Green Card Received in mail - No Interview

 

 

giphy.gifgiphy.gif     

 

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1 minute ago, Ben&Zian said:

Definitely dig deeper because I've never heard of that, but, perhaps it could be.

 I looked up residence requirements for divorce in nearby Nevada:

At least one of the parties in a Nevada divorcemust have resided in Nevada for a minimum of six-weeks before filing a divorce. The Court requires proof of your residencyin the form of an Affidavit of Resident Witness.”

 

in theory she could live six weeks in Nevada and then get divorced. However I don’t know if a tourist visa can last that long. Surely someone on this site must have successfully navigated these waters before. 

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Just now, Ugly_American said:

 I looked up residence requirements for divorce in nearby Nevada:

At least one of the parties in a Nevada divorcemust have resided in Nevada for a minimum of six-weeks before filing a divorce. The Court requires proof of your residencyin the form of an Affidavit of Resident Witness.”

 

in theory she could live six weeks in Nevada and then get divorced. However I don’t know if a tourist visa can last that long. Surely someone on this site must have successfully navigated these waters before. 

 

It was another user who said about the residency requirements but, when she entered the US, IF... IF she got a tourist visa, they may only allow here 2-3 weeks so... might not be possible anyways.. but again USCIS may accept this for their end, but at the embassy level they probably wouldn't because she would still have to present a CEMAR and it would state she is legally married in the Philippines. Philippines is definitely difficult when it comes to divorce/annulments. Dig deep, I tagged couple other knowledgeable members who also know about Philippines so they may be able to give you some good answer.

 

Oh, and forgot.. @Greenbaum definitely is knowledgeable about processes in the Philippines also, between those three you should get some good info.


08/15/2014 : Met Online

06/30/2016 : I-129F Packet Sent

07/08/2016 : NOA 1 Received

08/25/2016 : NOA 2 Received (48 days)

11/08/2016 : Interview - APPROVED!

11/18/2016 : Visa in hand

11/23/2016 : POE - Dallas, Texas

From sending of I-129F petiton to POE - 146 days.

 

02/03/2017 - Married 

02/24/2017 - AOS packet sent

06/01/2017 - EAD/AP Combo Card Received in mail

12/06/2017 - I-485 Approved

12/14/2017 - Green Card Received in mail - No Interview

 

 

giphy.gifgiphy.gif     

 

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4 minutes ago, Ben&Zian said:

 

It was another user who said about the residency requirements but, when she entered the US, IF... IF she got a tourist visa, they may only allow here 2-3 weeks so... might not be  I tagged couple other knowledgeable members who also know about Philippines so they may be able to give you some good answer.

 

Oh, and forgot.. @Greenbaum definitely is knowledgeable about processes in the Philippines also, between those three you should get some good info.

Awesome! Thanks. This site rocks. 

I’m not interested in skirting laws or jeopardizing her citizenship. In fact she’d be a great citizen because if there’s anything we need here it’s dedicated teachers, but I really want to avoid a protracted legal process. I’m willing to fly her anywhere. I’m in a good position to attack this hurdle in the best means possible, i just don’t know what that is. 

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@aaron2020 and @SusieQQQ also seem to have a lot of knowledge in general, maybe they have something to contribute to your thread.

 

Best of luck btw.

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39 minutes ago, Jorgedig said:

@aaron2020 and @SusieQQQ also seem to have a lot of knowledge in general, maybe they have something to contribute to your thread.

 

Best of luck btw.

Thanks. 

 

I found an article/website about Guam. This may or may not still be viable, but it seems like a few weeks in Guam might work, provided there was some sort of documented agreement between both spouses about custody of the child and other affairs:

 

http://guamdivorce.us/

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Posted (edited)

Divorce is not going to work with a Fiipina who lives in the Philippines.  

 

First, you have to be a resident in order to file for a divorce.  As a tourist, she can not file for divorce in the US.  

 

Think about this - how the hell would a foreign court handle dividing assets in the PI and custody of a child in the PI.  Does anybody think that an American court would have the authority to deal with the custody of a child who lives in the PI, is a PI citizen, and has never set foot in the US?  No way, no how.  This is why residency is required.  

 

Second, divorces are not recognized in the PI if it's initiated by the PI citizen.  She would still be considered married in the PI  (I think.)

 

Get an annulment in the PI.  That is the ONLY WAY for her to become single.  

Edited by aaron2020

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